Not all Physicians are Board Certified in the Specialties They Practice

In order to practice medicine, a physician must have graduated from medical school, fulfilled applicable residency requirements, and been approved by the state’s official medical board. With board certification, these same general eligibility requirements apply, but the physician must also meet additional training requirements, complete a thorough application process, and pass standardized examinations. In short, board certification is intended to be a rigorous process signifying the physician has obtained expertise in the same field of medicine.

Further complicating matters, not all physicians are board certified in the specialties they practice. This is why it is always important for patients to research the credentials of a physician.

While board certification is not required to practice medicine, it is a valuable tool for determining the expertise and experience of a physician in a particular field of medicine. Every physician is required to be licensed to practice medicine in the state they work.  Board Certification is an extra step a physician may take to assure a patient of that specialty training. And, if you require the services of a specialist, you deserve to know that the physician is a leader in that specialty.

There are specific benefits to board certification that extend beyond the credential. At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), for example, our Diplomates have the needed resources to stay up-to-date within their specialties in order to continue their competency in the medical field.

Furthermore, the learning doesn’t stop when a physician becomes board certified no matter their qualifications. ABPS board certified physicians are required to recertify after a set number of years.  During each recertification process, ABPS reviews the physicians’ credentials and administers tests to assure that the physician still demonstrates exemplary knowledge and mastery within their field of certification. Patients can relax knowing that their ABPS board-certified physicians have proved their knowledge and training in a particular field.

If you are interested in determining if a physician is board certified through the American Board of Physician Specialties®, visit our online physician verification database here. Your ABPS physician’s board expertise and educational skills are displayed with this online tool.  Unable to find your physician in the database?  Please call the Verification Department at (813) 433-2277.

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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.

ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.


Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine
ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine