Physician Board Recertification Standards of the ABPS

Physician Board Recertification StandardsThe American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) requires its Diplomates to obtain recertification every eight years. In order to achieve recertification, an ABPS board certified physician must participate in a regular schedule of maintenance and enhancement of competency (MAEC) in his or her specialty.

The physician board recertification standards of the ABPS are just as stringent as the eligibility requirements in place when a physician originally obtained board certification. They include:

  • Completion of a non-remedial medical ethics program
  • Completion of at least 25 continuing medical education (CME) hours during the preceding eight years through programs sponsored by the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.
  • In the final year of the eight-year cycle, a 100-question, securely administered, written examination must be taken and passed

In addition, a physician must maintain a full and unrestricted license in every state where he or she practices.  A physician also must have reported at least 400 CME hours during the eight-year cycle, and must have had at least an average of 25 CME hours per year in his or her specialty. Also, an average of 50 questions of self-assessment CME examinations (as approved by the physician’s certifying board) must be completed annually until the final year of the eight-year cycle. That means a total of 350 completed questions of self-assessment CME examination must be reported to the ABPS at the end of the cycle, prior to recertification.

What’s the Purpose of Physician Board Recertification?

Recertification enables physicians to maintain mastery of their specialty and enhances their professional credentials. Because medical groups, hospitals, managed care companies, and patients regard board certification and recertification as a verifiable indicator of a physician’s expertise, many employers now require that physicians be board certified.

Physician board recertification with the ABPS, provides our Diplomates with:

  • Unlimited board certification verification and attestation
  • Increased opportunities for positions of more responsibility and higher earnings
  • Participation in Member Board development and governance
  • Complimentary membership in the American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS)
  • Ample career networking opportunities

A Pragmatic Approach to Physician Board Recertification

At the ABPS, our non-discriminatory approach has endured since the ABPS’ founding in 1952, and today we remain committed to helping physicians gain personal and professional advancement while meeting increasing demands for patient care. To learn more about the rigorous physician board recertification standards of the ABPS, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.


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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.

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