How ABPS Board Certification Can Help Curb the Physician Shortage

Physician ShortageWhile physician board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS®) will not increase the number of physician specialists in North America, it could still help curb the growing physician shortage. How? It has to do with hiring practices and the way physicians currently become eligible for job openings − as well as how they meet the criteria for career advancement. It also has to do with how money is allocated by the federal government for physician training in hospitals.

The ABPS Takes a Pragmatic Approach to Physician Board Certification

The United States is expected to fall short of its requirement for primary care physicians by 52,000 as soon as 2025. Currently, hospitals nationwide are having trouble filling vacancies, a problem that is exacerbated by hiring policy as much as anything else. The ABPS believes that physicians who have compiled a great deal of professional, practical experience in a particular specialty should be afforded the opportunity to achieve physician board certification in their chosen specialty if they meet the qualifications. For example, hospital recruiters could hire primary care physicians who have achieved a certain level of experience in emergency medicine or hospital medicine if the policy reflected the actual needs of the emergency or hospitalist department − rather than a rigid adherence to the old ways of determining qualifications.

ABPS Offers Certification in New and Evolving Medical Specialties

The ABPS maintains an inclusive and practical approach, providing certification options to both allopathic and osteopathic physicians in a wide array of specialties. These specialties range from traditional fields such as family medicine and dermatology to emerging disciplines like integrative medicine and disaster medicine. As healthcare evolves, our dedication remains unwavering in helping physicians achieve personal and professional growth while effectively meeting the increasing demands for patient care. In pursuit of this objective, we have established distinct boards that are unparalleled in the certification industry, including:

  • The American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM)
  • The Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics (BCFMO)
  • The American Board of Administrative Medicine (ABAM)
  • The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM)

The stringent eligibility requirements of the Member Boards of the ABPS ensure that any physician specialist who has achieved physician board certification through us has more than demonstrated her or his knowledge of the core competencies required to provide the finest medical care available. ABPS eligibility criteria vary depending on the specialty; however, certain requirements are common among all ABPS Member Boards. These requirements are as follows:

  • Adherence to the ABPS Code of Ethics, being acknowledged as an ethical member within the professional community, and actively practicing in the specific specialty for which certification is sought.
  • Graduation from an accredited allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine in the United States, Canada, or any international institution recognized by the ABPS. International graduates must also possess a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.
  • Possession of a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.

To learn more about how physician board certification through the ABPS can help curb the ongoing physician shortage in North America, contact us today. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board-certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
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.

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