Physicians Have Options When It Comes to Board Certification, According to Emmanuel Konstantakos, MD

Manny Konstantakos, MDUnlike what many residents believed during their residencies, physicians have several options for board certification. During the chief year of my orthopedic surgery residency, many of us learned that there are only three truly legitimate physician board certifying bodies in North America: the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS).

Of these three boards, the ABMS is the largest and most well-known, and perhaps also the most monopolizing—nearly every resident is steered towards certifying with the ABMS after graduating. I remember that many residents never even considered another board simply because they had never heard of any other board.

So, let’s consider why the ABPS, a nationally recognized board may be a better option for you, as it has been for many qualified physicians practicing today. The ABPS certified its first physician in 1960. With 12 Member Boards, the ABPS takes a non-discriminatory approach and certifies both allopathic and osteopathic physicians in a wide range of specialties, from traditional fields like family medicine and general surgery to relatively new specialties like integrative medicine and disaster medicine. Truth be told, the ABPS is the only multi-specialty board that offers certification in these emerging fields.

The ABPS certification process is notably rigorous. This isn’t a quick online deal or a certification one “achieves” after attending a really nice dinner with a pharmaceutical representative. ABPS candidates for certification must meet several eligibility requirements and pass a challenging specialty exam. This helps to explain why only the most committed physicians achieve ABPS certification and why ABPS Diplomates practice medicine at some of the most respectable institutions in the country. If there’s one essential takeaway from the ABPS certification process, it’s that the ABPS is a time-tested, verified, and trusted source for both initial certification and recertification.

Remember, board certification is not a requirement. Instead, it’s a voluntary process and its achievement represents a deep commitment to patient care. In today’s medical industry, finding and keeping your dream job if you’re not board certified can be stressful because hospitals and other employers are increasingly hiring board-certified physicians only.

And in case you’re wondering, I don’t have anything to gain from informing you about any particular certification board. As a physician who has been through the process of choosing a board most consistent with my values and best fosters my career development, I simply want other physicians to know that regardless of what you’re made to believe during residency, you have other valid certification options!

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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.

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