Internists Have a Recognized Choice in Internal Medicine With ABPS

Smiling physician with arms crossed and stethoscope draped around his neck The Board of Certification in Internal Medicine® (BCIM) is an excellent choice for internists who want to be recognized for their knowledge, competency, and dedication to their profession. Governed by the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS)—one of three nationally recognized bodies for physician board certification—the BCIM offers a comprehensive certification exam for qualified doctors.

As with all other ABPS certification exams, the BCIM’s clinically based test gives physicians the opportunity to prove that they indeed have the skills and knowledge required to deliver exceptional care in internal medicine. Unlike many other non-ABPS exams, the BCIM exam is prepared not by academics, but by physicians who practice their medical specialty daily. It tests candidates on relevant medical experience, posing scenarios based on common clinical encounters. It’s an exam that emphasizes the candidate’s capacity to provide great patient care rather than simply memorizing facts. It’s not surprising that the BCIM is managed by physicians, who understand that a certification program derived from the study and practice of thousands of physicians before them amounts to a true test of a doctor’s expertise.

How Is the BCIM Different From Other Internal Medicine Certifying Boards?

The BCIM also stands apart from other certification boards in that it has no time-limited period for physicians to complete the certification process after residency. After all, physicians are busy professionals who have already invested considerable time and money in their medical training. To be denied a certification opportunity because they’re busy practicing the specialty for which they have been trained is not only unfair, but also short-sighted. Given the necessary time to dedicate to the stringent certification process, many BCIM Diplomates go on to establish successful careers in internal medicine and now practice at some of the nation’s most trusted medical institutions.

Another important reason that the BCIM represents an ideal choice is its lack of maintenance of certification (MOC) rules, which can make it difficult to maintain certification credentials. With the BCIM, physicians are freed from burdensome MOC requirements.  Unlike the accumulated “points” requirements associated with MOC, recertification through the BCIM is required every eight years, which eliminates what many doctors consider a duplication of existing continuing medical education (CME) programs. The BCIM offers a number of CME opportunities, ensuring that internal medicine physicians stay abreast of the latest medical advances to better serve their patients.

How to Apply for BCIM Certification

To qualify for initial board certification in internal medicine, candidates must first meet the general prerequisites established by the ABPS. These prerequisites comprise graduating from a recognized allopathic or osteopathic medical college in the United States, Canada, or internationally, and possessing a valid and unrestricted medical license for practice in the United States, its territories, or Canada.

Additionally, the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM) has its distinct eligibility criteria, which entail:

  • 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)
  • Submitting a current curriculum vitae that includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order
  • Submitting two letters of recommendation from Diplomates in internal medicine of an ABPS, ABMS, AOA, or RCPSC board of certification.

To earn certification in family medicine with the BCIM, candidates must pass a computer-based written exam that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions administered over a four-hour session.

You can find information about dates and fees for the application and the written exam here.

If you would like more information about BCIM certification, including eligibility requirements, don’t hesitate to reach out to the ABPS. Current Diplomates of the ABMS and the AOA are eligible to recertify with the BCIM.

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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
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