What MSPs Need to Know about ABPS Physician Board Certification Options

What MSPs Need to Know about ABPS Physician Board Certification OptionsThe 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.

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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