Our Perspective on Inclusive Bylaws

Our Perspective on Inclusive BylawsA few years ago, the U.S. Department of Labor recognized the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) as an option for physician board certification. Until then, only the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) were listed as certifying bodies. Fortunately, more medical staff bylaws are being revised to include the ABPS.

Jeff Morris, J.D., executive of the ABPS, attributes this to more of the country’s leadership seeking the ABPS’s guidance on physician care issues and more medical staff services departments turning to the ABPS as their physicians look for certification or recertification options.

Still, in our current era of primary source verification requirements, negligent credentialing cases, and electronic credentialing programs, medical staffs rarely grant exceptions to physicians who don’t meet the certification requirements in the organization’s bylaws. As a result, many experienced and qualified physicians are denied staff privileges, depriving patients from receiving the excellent medical care that these professionals provide.

“In seeking qualified physicians, hospitals should not discriminate against physicians who chose to be certified by ABPS instead of the more well-known ABMS boards,” Morris says.

He compares organizations’ restrictive bylaws to the discriminatory approach toward DOs in the 1970s, when most bylaws wouldn’t accept DOs as physicians. But as the definition of what a physician is has changed, so have medical staff bylaws. If we assume that organizations write bylaws to attract physicians who are among the finest in their chosen specialties, then it would make sense that bylaws should be more inclusive, as that would provide more opportunities to hire skilled and knowledgeable practitioners.

One way to get medical staffs to change their bylaws, Morris says, is by pointing out that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook now includes ABPS as a board certification option.

“What we are asking bylaws to do is get current with the current standard,” Morris says.

Contact the ABPS to learn more about how medical organizations across the United States would be well-served if their medical staff bylaws recognized the highly qualified and comprehensively skilled physicians certified through the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certification body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine