Each ABPS Medical Certification Board Delivers a Rigorous, Psychometrically Valid Exam

Medical Board ExamThe responsibility of a physician specialty certification board is to ensure that the medical board exam is developed and administered in such a way that the result accurately reflects a physician’s mastery of the knowledge base and skill set in his or her chosen specialty. In order to live up to this responsibility, the member boards of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) employ rigorous standards for the development of content within their written, simulation and oral examinations.

High Board Certification Standards for Better Patient Care

The ABPS, which is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS), received independent affirmation of the high standards of its medical certification board exam content through an exhaustive practice analysis study performed by Castle Worldwide. This well-respected testing agency concluded that the ABPS/AAPS certification programs “meet or exceed the equivalent standards of any other certification organization.”

The physicians of the 12 ABPS boards develop and administer physician certification and recertification exams for their respective medical specialties.

Whether physicians are seeking certification in family medicine, emergency medicine, or integrative medicine, they can rest assured that the ABPS examination process will fairly and accurately measure their knowledge of the core competencies required to provide exceptional patient care.

ABPS Exam Development

ABPS board certification exams are based on meetings with subject-matter experts who help identify the key skills, abilities, and technical knowledge that a board-certified physician should have. After this practice analysis is finished, the exams are thoroughly vetted by a representative sample of professionals in the medical community. Then, medical professionals, along with psychometric experts, collaborate to develop a blueprint for the exams. Once this blueprint is completed, a team of subject-matter experts develop the questions themselves.

After the exam is thoroughly edited, it is submitted to a committee of ABPS Diplomates for final approval. From there, ABPS staffers adjust the exam for length and to ensure that there are an appropriate number of questions in each section.

The majority of written certification exams consist of 200 items, with the longest exam containing 325. Recertification exams consist of 100 items. Several ABPS specialties require candidates for initial certification to pass an oral exam once they have passed the written examination.

The exam development process is exhaustive, sure, but it is absolutely critical in guaranteeing that ABPS standardized exams fairly and accurately measure a physician candidate’s qualifications.

Get More Information About ABPS Certification

The mission of ABPS/AAPS is to focus primarily on enhancing patient care, rather than on the business of medicine and every medical board exam administered reflects this commitment. In line with that mission is our pledge to promote collegiality, fraternity, and services among our Diplomates all of whom are given the opportunity to contribute to future exam development and administration.

Contact the ABPS today for more information about our exam development and the advantages of receiving board certification from our organization.

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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