The Changing Role of Physician Leaders

The need for physician leaders has never been greater. As the healthcare industry continues to undergo significant changes, there is a clear opportunity for physicians with extensive administrative experience to rise up and assume leadership positions that are too often filled by executives who do not possess medical training. At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we developed the American Board of Administrative Medicine℠ (ABAM) to help advance the career opportunities of physicians who possess both medical and business training.

In today’s healthcare industry, a physician leader needs to have both medical savvy and business acumen to succeed. Doctors have historically been looked at as leaders within their community, but as the healthcare industry has centralized, formal business training has become essential to be an effective hospital CEO or other leader. Today, hospital leaders need to worry not only about delivering the best possible care to their patients, but also:

  • Redesigning approaches to patient care
  • Monitoring and improving safety protocols
  • Managing medical personnel
  • Overseeing budgeting
  • Allocating human resources
  • Driving innovation
  • Implementing medical records programs
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations
  • And much more

Physician leaders have long been relied upon as a conduit between business professionals and medical staff, but physicians are increasingly needed to assume the executive positions themselves, bringing their unique insight into the implementation of healthcare into the boardroom. And one of the best ways for a physician leader to demonstrate his or her unique experience in business management is by becoming board certified through the ABAM.

Eligibility Requirements of the ABAM

To be eligible to apply for initial board certification with the ABAM, an applicant must first satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS. These include being a graduate of a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine, and holding a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, its territories, or Canada.

The ABAM has its own eligibility requirements that include evidence of medical administrative experience as defined by one of the following:

  • Master’s degree in business administration, medical management, health administration, or another advanced degree in healthcare management/administration
  • Healthcare management certification that includes the Certified Physician Executive (CPE) or American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) certifications
  • At least five years of cumulative experience in an administrative position that includes additional training in management-related functions consistent with core competencies outlined in the exam blueprint
  • At least two years of cumulative experience in an administrative position and current enrollment in a master’s program in business administration, medical management, health administration, or another advanced degree in healthcare management/administration

After applicants are deemed eligible, they must pass a computer-based written exam in order to earn board certification in administrative medicine. You can find information about dates and fees for the application and the exam here.

Once granted, all ABPS certificates are good for eight years, expiring on December 31st of the eighth year.

Be Recognized for Your Insight Into the Business of Medicine

Our Diplomates have successfully demonstrated a mastery of the business-side of medicine and are part of a community of professionals who represent many of the leaders of tomorrow. To learn more about becoming board certified through the ABAM, contact us today. The American Board of Administrative Medicine was developed by the ABPS – one of the three largest national multi-specialty physician certifying organizations in North America.

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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

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
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