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.

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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