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Having a Choice for Physician Board Recertification Benefits Patients, Physicians and the Health Care System

Maintenance of CertificationOpponents of the annual maintenance of certification (MOC) system espoused by other multi-specialty board certification bodies can look for an effective option in the recertification process employed by the member boards of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). When physicians are given a choice in how they maintain their board certification, rather than being compelled to slot into one uncompromising system, the benefits extend to patients and the healthcare system as a whole.

Whereas the MOC system has received pushback from the American Medical Association and thousands of physicians nationwide, the ABPS system of recertification is a proven method for ensuring that board certified physicians are doing what they should to maintain the level of knowledge and experience required to provide the finest medical care available in their individual specialties. It is important to note that physicians with current certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) are eligible to apply for recertification with the appropriate ABPS member board. In addition to the rigorous professional eligibility standards for ABPS certification and recertification, all ABPS member boards require that Diplomates complete a medical ethics course that serves to reinforce the pledge that every ABPS Diplomate takes to adhere to the organization’s code of ethics.

The ABPS code of ethics requires that physicians promise:

  • To maintain the highest standard of personal conduct
  • To promote and encourage the highest level of medical ethics
  • To maintain loyalty to the goals and objectives of the AAPS
  • To recognize and fulfill the personal responsibility and the responsibility of those who practice the profession to uphold the laws and regulations relating to the practice of medicine
  • To strive for excellence in all aspects of medical practice
  • To use only legal and ethical means in the provision of care for patients
  • To provide patient care impartially; provide no special privilege to any individual patient based on the patient’s race, color, creed, sex, national origin, or handicap
  • To accept no personal compensation from any party that would influence or require special consideration in the provision of care to any patient

This commitment to quality health care ahead of the business of medicine is a foundational tenet of the ABPS parent organization, the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc. (AAPS). The AAPS believes that having a choice in physician board certification and recertification is good for healthcare, good for physicians and, by extension, good for patients because by providing options, it can help reduce the costs of recertification.

To learn more about an alternative to the MOC process, contact the ABPS, the official multi-specialty board certification body of the AAPS.