Physician Certification vs. Medical Licensure

Medical LicensePhysician certification and medical licensure are both vital for career advancement. Yet, the two are important for very different reasons. Here is the major difference: medical licensure is required, while physician board certification technically is a voluntary achievement. It is technically voluntary, because anyone who hopes to achieve meaningful advancement in the field of a particular specialty will almost certainly need to become board certified in that specialty. Whereas, everyone who practices medicine must receive a medical license from the state or states where they intend to practice.

One way to think about medical licensure and physician certification is to compare the process of becoming a practicing physician to that of becoming a professional racecar driver. At a certain point in your driving career, usually when you’re just starting out, you are required to earn a driver’s license in order to be on the road behind the wheel. But earning that license doesn’t mean you’re ready for NASCAR. Excelling at the highest levels of any profession requires experience and talent, and there are tried and true methods in place for measuring someone’s competence in a given field.

Similarly, once you have earned your medical license, there still is a lot of work to do in order to achieve physician board certification. And once you have accomplished the necessary work experience and training, you need a reliable, clinically based method of measuring your skill and knowledge in the core competencies associated with your chosen specialty. That’s where the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) comes into the picture. As one of the most respected multi-specialty board certification bodies in the United States, the ABPS provides licensed, qualified physicians the opportunity to prove their worth to potential employers, patients, and peers. To learn more about the ABPS board certification process, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine