Resident Physicians Have a Choice for Board Certification

A young female physician in uniformAt a certain point in their residency training, physicians who want to distinguish themselves and bolster their careers invariably consider becoming board-certified. But which certifying organization should they choose? Among the nation’s resident physicians, this a perennial question. How they answer depends on factors such as the organization’s eligibility requirements, the type of specialty certifications offered, and how well the organization’s values align with their own. In some cases, unfortunately, physicians base their choices on limited information, embarking on the demanding certification process with an organization that may be ill-suited for their career goals or personal values.

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) wants residents to understand that they have a choice in board certification. Currently, there are three prominent multi-specialty certifying bodies in the United States, and the ABPS is one of them. Since certifying our first physician in 1960, we have become a nationally recognized choice for certification, offering a path toward board certification and recertification in 18 different specialties. Our Diplomates include specialists in traditional fields like dermatology and family medicine as well as emerging specialties like disaster medicine and integrative medicine. What’s more, ABPS Diplomates practice at some of the finest healthcare institutions in the country, and are in all 50 states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Advantages of Certifying With the ABPS

Choosing the ABPS for board certification means you will be part of a community of highly trained and experienced physician specialists committed to delivering world-class medical care. Our certification process is notably rigorous, but once you have earned certification, you can expect expanded career opportunities, thanks to our robust record of work with credentialing authorities, hospital leaders, and legislators. Furthermore, as an ABPS Diplomate, you will receive ongoing education that will foster improved patient care and help to advance your medical specialty.

Given that the fundamental mission of the ABPS is to ensure that patients receive the best possible medical care, board certification also benefits patients. With board-certified physicians on staff, a hospital or clinic also delivers a positive message about its credentials. Patients may be feeling particularly vulnerable, so trusting that they are in caring and competent hands can go a long way toward easing their anxieties and helping them heal. Board certification through the ABPS also means that hospitals may confidently consider ABPS Diplomates to fill leadership roles, and as leaders, these respected physicians will be in a position to shape the medical profession for years to come. In short, hiring board-certified physicians makes good business sense, plus it fulfills the first duty of any healthcare organization—to provide the best care available.

Why One Orthopedic Surgeon Chose the ABPS for Certification

ABPS Diplomate Manny Konstantakos, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Rockford, IL, chose the ABPS, he says, “not just because it was the most well-known, or the longest-standing, but because of what it actually tested us on.”

He also liked that the ABPS is the only multi-specialty certifying body that requires its candidates to complete a medical ethics course to achieve recertification. “This medical ethics requirement was a key factor in my selection of the ABPS for my initial board certification,” he says. “It likely influenced the decision of other ABPS Diplomates as well.”

At the ABPS, we believe that physicians should do their due diligence and pursue board certification with the certifying body that offers the best fit. So, whether you earned board certification through the ABMS, the AOA, or the ABPS, we encourage you to thoroughly research your options. You may find that ABPS is more in line with your values and offers you opportunities that you might not find elsewhere.

Eligibility Requirements of the ABPS

The ABPS has established general eligibility requirements that include:

  • Three to five years of advanced training, depending on the specialty, and completion of an ACGME- or AOA-approved residency
  • Attestation of a full, unrestricted medical license
  • Completion of a non-remedial medical ethics course
  • At least 50 hours a year of continuing medical education
  • Achieving recertification after eight years

In keeping with our commitment to helping provide a high level of medical care that ensures patient safety, the ABPS is the only multi-specialty that requires its Diplomates to complete a medical ethics course to earn recertification.

Contact us today to learn about our mission and our eligibility requirements, and for more information about why qualified resident physicians who value compassionate and effective health care routinely choose the ABPS for board certification.


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