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Family Medicine Obstetrics Plays a Major Role in Rural Medicine

Historically, earning board certification was entirely optional for highly motivated and qualified physicians. It was one final step that physicians could take to validate their expertise and experience in their chosen field. However, today the need for physicians to be board certified has never been greater. Increasingly, many healthcare organizations and insurance groups are mandating board certification for physicians, which greatly limits the opportunities available to those who don’t pursue this distinction. The challenge that this has created for many highly qualified physicians, particularly those who practice in rural areas, is that if they do not make the commitment to become board certified in their area of expertise, or do not possess the specific eligibility requirements needed to become board certified, their professional development may be impacted.

Consider the rise of the specialty of Family Medicine Obstetrics. As Daniel M. Avery, Jr., MD and Catherine A. Skinner, MD explain in review of Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics: 2006-2017: “Some 17,380 family physicians attend childbirth in the United States,” with some physicians focusing strictly in childbirth, while others elect to specialize in surgical obstetrics or prenatal care. However, rural areas and other underserved areas have traditionally struggled to recruit physicians who have completed residency training in Family Medicine Obstetrics.  To address this shortcoming, a number of fellowship programs have been created around the country, which provide rigorous, hands-on training to qualified Family Medicine physicians who are interested in specializing in Obstetric Medicine.

Moreover, at the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we believe that physicians who successfully complete an approved fellowship in Family Medicine Obstetrics should be recognized for their expertise. As a result, we developed The Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics® (BCFMO) to offer an opportunity for board certification to these fellowship-trained physicians who meet our eligibility requirements found here.

To learn more about how the ABPS is working to provide new opportunities to physicians in Family Medicine Obstetrics as well as many other medical specialties, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®