Internal Medicine Physicians Have a Choice in Board Certification

Internal Medicine Certification | BCIMIt is important that Internal Medicine physicians understand that, when it comes to board certification, they have a choice. In the United States, there are three primary, multi-specialty physician certifying organizations: The American Board of Medical Specialties, American Board of Physician Specialties and the American Osteopathic Association. Each organization has its own unique advantages, which is why it is incumbent on the physician candidate to thoroughly research all available options and elect to pursue certification with the group that the candidate finds best able to help advance his or her career objectives.

At the ABPS, we have a member board dedicated solely to providing board certification in Internal Medicine, which is known as the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM). The goal of this Member Board is to recognize leaders in Internal Medicine – physicians who have extensive experience in the specialty and who can demonstrate a mastery of the core concepts and competencies required from a physician who practices Internal Medicine. As a result, our Diplomates represent some of the best and brightest in this essential medical specialty.

BCIM Diplomates are members of a highly motivated community of like-minded physicians who are given an open forum to share best practices and apprise each other of career opportunities – including leadership positions – in the specialty area. Additionally, the BCIM and the ABPS are committed to providing our Diplomates with a voice, and we work tirelessly with practice management groups, legislators, and certifying organizations to make sure that the voice of our community is heard.

BCIM Board Certification: Challenging and Rewarding

The BCIM application process is rigorous. Candidates must meet several eligibility requirements and pass a comprehensive specialty exam. It’s no surprise that only the most committed and skilled physicians earn BCIM certification. That they’re widely considered as leaders in their fields is also not surprising. As for other career benefits, consider that certification with an ABPS Member Board such as the BCIM:

  • Makes physicians more marketable to potential employers
  • Increases opportunities for career advancement and higher earnings
  • Fosters recognition and respect from medical colleagues
  • Provides patients peace of mind that their physician is uniquely qualified to deliver top-notch medical care.

Eligibility Requirements of the BCIM

To be eligible to apply for certification with the BCIM, an internal medicine physician must have an unrestricted medical license for every state in which he or she is licensed. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Submitting a current curriculum vitae that includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order
  • Completing an ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency in internal medicine, or an internal medicine residency accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Diplomates in internal medicine of an ABPS, ABMS, AOA, or RCPSC board of certification.

Once deemed eligible, candidates must pass a written exam to earn BCIM certification. For information about dates and fees for the application and the written exam, click here.

If you are an Internal Medicine physician with extensive training and experience in the specialty, and you are currently researching the board certification options available to you, contact the BCIM. Internal Medicine physicians who have previously been certified by the ABMS or AOA are also eligible to re-certify with our organization.

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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