The American Board of Physician Specialties® Thinks that the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is Bad Medicine

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact As of March 2015, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact has been introduced in 15 state legislatures across the country. The Compact was developed through a close partnership between the Federation of State Medical Boards and the American Board of Medical Specialties, and, as written, will create a national commission that will have the authority expedite the licensure of physicians who are licensed to practice in the states who are part of the Compact. The problem with the language of this legislation is that it defines a physician as someone who “holds specialty certification or a time-unlimited specialty certificate recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Association’s Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists.” This narrow definition excludes physicians who have earned board certification from the American Board of Physician Specialties, the third-largest nationally recognized physician multi-specialty certifying body. But, this is only one of our many concerns with this proposed legislation.

In addition to limiting the number of qualified physicians who can practice medicine in states that adopt the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, the Compact would transfer state sovereignty to a private organization, creating a new and unnecessary bureaucracy for physicians to navigate along with additional high costs associated with licensing fees. As a result, all physicians who are licensed under the Compact would have to spend more time and money ensuring their good standing with the organization, with no proven benefit to patient care.

Perhaps most troubling of all, the proposed Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is not open for public review, nor can amendments be considered to the text of the legislation. Most everyone would agree that our country should make it easy for physicians who are licensed in one state to practice medicine in another, but the way the Compact is currently written is bad for physicians, bad for patients, and bad for the American healthcare system as a whole. And, rather than having an open forum to discuss ways to develop a program that will address physician concerns and improve our healthcare sector, the Federation of State Medical Boards, under the auspices of the American Board of Medical Specialties, has written a law that is good for the ABMS and AOA but virtually no one else.

We urge citizens across the nation to contact their state government representatives and urge their support in defeating the Compact should it come to a vote.

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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