Message to Medical Executive Committees: Physicians Deserve a Choice in Board Certification

Message to Medical Executive CommitteesWhen was the last time your medical staff bylaws were updated? Medical executive committee members need to know that the definition of physician board certification has evolved.

It’s an unfortunate reality, but many medical organizations today unwittingly deprive their patients of expert medical care. To understand how this is possible, one must look to those organizations’ medical staff bylaws that restrict physician board certification to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).  Over the years, such narrowly written policies have blocked numerous eminently qualified doctors who are certified by other boards.

This state of affairs has continued despite the fact that, a few years ago, the United States Department of Labor updated its Occupational Outlook Handbook to include the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) as an option for physician board certification. Previously, the Handbook listed only the ABMS and the AOA as certifying bodies.

As Elizabeth Snelson, legal counsel for the Medical Staff, PLLC, in St. Paul, Minnesota, says in a HealthLeaders Media article, “What we really want are well-qualified physicians. Is there anyone who can sit down and say, well, if you are ABMS certified, you are a better doctor?”

The history and stellar reputation of the ABPS underscores her point. The organization was created in 1952 by a group of osteopathic surgeons who completed allopathic residencies but were denied both AOA and ABMS certification—the former because they did not complete osteopathic residencies and the latter because they were doctors of osteopathic medicine. So, they developed a certification body that didn’t discriminate on training and actually tested the physician’s knowledge of their specialty.

Today, the ABPS maintains that same non-discriminatory approach, offering both allopathic and osteopathic physicians board certification and re-certification in various specialties. As the third largest nationally recognized multi-specialty physician certifying body, the ABPS has Diplomates in all 50 states, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, and many ABPS Diplomates have become leaders at renowned institutions.

Physicians across the country continually choose the ABPS because, as a certification board dedicated to patient care above all else, the ABPS values their opinion, lets their voices be heard, and reflects their core values. Simply put, physicians deserve to choose the board that best aligns with their values and fosters their career development.

“In seeking qualified physicians, hospitals should not discriminate against physicians who chose to be certified by ABPS instead of the more well-known ABMS boards,” says ABPS Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morris, JD. “What we are asking bylaws to do is get current with the current standard.”

If you’d like more information about the ABPS, our code of ethics, and our mission to offer the highest certification standards that meet the public’s healthcare needs while helping physicians achieve career success, contact the ABPS today.

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.

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