The American Board of Physician Specialties® Urges States to Reject the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

The American Board of Physician Specialties® remains steadfast in its rejection of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and strongly encourages states to consider the potential ramifications of enactment. Developed as a result of a close partnership between the Federation of State Medical Boards and the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Compact will create a private national commission that has the authority to expedite the licensure of physicians. At the ABPS, we have fundamental concerns about the power that this legislation provides to this new Commission, and are troubled that as of June 2018, 22 states have already agreed to enact the policy change.

Nearly everyone can agree that, in today’s modern healthcare environment, it needs to be easier for physicians to have access to their patients. In principle, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact creates a path for physicians to streamline the licensure process across several states, which – in theory – would make it easier for physicians to reach rural areas and cross state lines to treat their patients. However, the problem with the Compact is its definition of a physician. Specifically, the Compact indicates that eligible physicians must hold “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 explicitly excludes Diplomates of the American Board of Physician Specialties®, which is a short-sighted decision that greatly limits the accessibility of highly trained and experienced, board-certified physicians who met or exceeded national standards of excellence in order to become board certified. In effect, the Compact categorically rejects the long-established standard for physician certification, which has included the ABMS, the AOABOS, and the ABPS equally for decades.

Competition in the healthcare industry is important. It helps drive innovation, improves the quality of physician care, and improves efficiency. The Compact inhibits competition, which is not in the long-term interest of the American healthcare system.

We strongly encourage citizens to contact their elected officials and request that they do not support the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Save the Date
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.

ABPS is a leading advocate for its Diplomates, their patients, and the public at large by promoting high-quality evidence-based patient care. ABPS certifies physicians through industry-leading rigorous examinations in various boards and offers continuous recertification making sure that these physicians are qualified to practice safe state of the art medicine.

Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
In this time of uncertainty, Disaster Medicine Certification has helped tremendously to demonstrate to hospital leadership my commitment to disaster preparedness and knowledge of planning, response, and mitigation. ABODM certification focuses on the knowledge and skills a physician needs to become a recognized leader in the four stages of disaster preparation and management: planning, coordination, execution, and debriefing.

Lewis W, Marshall, MD, JD, FAAEP, FAADM
Disaster Medicine | Emergency Medicine
ABPS board certification validates a physician's competence in their medical specialty. This is important to a patient seeking medical care. Physician recertification through ABPS assures that we maintain knowledge and expertise throughout our career. The ABPS is a collegial and committed organization of physicians and administrative staff. The organization has given me the opportunity to become involved in all facets of the board certification process and physician governance.

Lawrence Stein, MD, FAASOS
Orthopedic Surgery