Why Do Physicians Become Certified in Multiple Specialties?

Physicians Multiple Board CertificationBoard certification has become one of the most trusted indicators used to identify highly qualified and reputable physicians. Officially, becoming board certified is still a voluntary process, and certification is not required to practice medicine. But, in practice, more and more patients are choosing to be treated by board certified physicians; employers are prioritizing hiring board certified physicians; and physicians themselves are prioritizing becoming professionally validated with board certification in their area of expertise. It’s for this reason that, today, more and more physicians are becoming certified in multiple specialties.

Another reason that there are more physicians certified in multiple specialties than ever before is that medicine itself has become more specialized. Simply put, there are more areas to become board certified in than ever before. And, in many cases, there is a certain degree of common ground between the specialty areas. Here are some examples of combinations of specialties that are frequently seen in the medical field:

  • Family Medicine & Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine & Urgent Care
  • Emergency Care & Urgent Care
  • Emergency Care & Disaster Medicine
  • Family Medicine & Family Medicine Obstetrics
  • Internal Medicine & Hospital Medicine
  • Hospital Medicine & Administrative Medicine

These days, it is highly advantageous for a physician to be certified in his or her area(s) of expertise, and more and more are making the time commitment needed to certify and re-certify. In some cases, as hospitals are increasingly requiring hiring individuals with board certification, and insurance groups are putting an added emphasis on board certification, it’s for all intents and purposes an essential step for physicians who intend to practice medicine in their specialty area.

At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we have a strong history of working with our Diplomates to provide Board Certification in several different specialty areas. Many of our Diplomates have multiple board certifications and we would be happy to walk you through the eligibility requirements with each of our Member Boards. If you are a member of the public, you are also welcome to confirm the credentials of a physician using the ABPS online verification tool found here. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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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