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.


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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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine