What MSPs Need to Know about ABPS Physician Board Certification Options
The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) maintains that medical organizations across the United States would be well-served if their bylaws recognized the highly qualified and dedicated physicians certified through the ABPS. The ABPS certified its first physician in 1960, and since then has certified numerous skilled practitioners in a range of medical fields, from traditional specialties such as internal medicine to emerging specialties such as integrative medicine. In fact, the ABPS was the first certifying body to recognize both allopathic and osteopathic physicians, and remains committed to a non-discriminatory approach to board certification.
Sadly, the hiring policies of many medical organizations are written so narrowly that they unwittingly discriminate against accomplished ABPS Diplomates. This happens despite the fact that the ABPS is now included in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook as a physician board certification option. Board certification “doesn’t mean only being certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS),” says ABPS Executive Director Jeff Morris, JD.
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?”
Medical staff professionals should ask themselves who would be affected under tighter board certification requirements, Snelson advises. “If you set a standard for quality reasons and there is someone you have never had a quality issue with who would be axed, you are also denying patients access.”
What this means is that when ABPS physicians are turned away from staff membership, patients are deprived of receiving the superior medical care that these accomplished practitioners deliver. To avoid this, and to ensure that certified doctors are afforded a fair opportunity to practice their specialty of choice, Snelson suggests that organizations include an equivalency clause in their bylaws to recognize physicians who are board certified by entities other than the ABMS.
We encourage MSPs to visit the website of the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) and review two documents that include the ABPS as a primary source for board certification verifications. MSPs will find that the ABPS helps healthcare organizations across the country in determining physicians’ competency while offering a choice in nationally recognized board certifications.
By maintaining rigorous certification standards and offering qualified physicians the chance to demonstrate their expertise, the ABPS strives to meet the changing healthcare needs of the public. For more information about our mission, contact the ABPS today.