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.

Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine