Huber Matos, MD: Interventional Pain Management Certification Offers Anesthesiologists a Practical Solution

Huber Matos, MD

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) is now offering board certification in interventional pain management to all qualified anesthesiologists. This certification will enable anesthesiologists with subspecialty expertise in pain medicine to be recognized by the public as experts in the specialty.

Pain medicine specialists who practice full-time interventional pain management can choose to certify exclusively in their field. Physicians who practice both anesthesiology and pain medicine can choose to become board-certified in both fields through the ABPS.

Other board certification providers require all pain specialists to maintain board certification in anesthesiology and pain medicine in order to keep their pain medicine certification active. At the ABPS, we believe this is unnecessary and costly for pain specialists who are primarily focused on the field of interventional pain management and are not actively involved in the practice of anesthesia.

Currently, board certification in pain medicine is offered to all specialties after completing a 12-month fellowship. This makes it difficult to understand what exactly the pain medicine specialist’s area of expertise is. An example would be a patient visiting a psychiatrist pain medicine specialist for a spinal cord stimulation implantation. This lack of clarity causes confusion for hospitals, patients, and fellow physicians. Our ABPS/IPM founding board members view this ambiguity as a source of significant confusion regarding the role of the pain medicine specialist.  By contrast, interventional pain management certification from the ABPS is grounded in the recognition that the field originates from the practice of anesthesiology and all anesthesiologists have identifiable interventional pain management training during their formal training.

Which Physicians Can Apply for Interventional Pain Management Board Certification?

The certification is open to all anesthesiologists board-certified through the ABPS, ABMS, or AOA, with at least two years of active interventional pain management experience. Anesthesiologists who completed an ACGME-approved residency in anesthesiology and a fellowship in pain medicine or regional anesthesia are also eligible to apply for ABPS interventional pain management certification.

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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