Why Specialty Board Certification Makes Sense for Family Medicine Practitioners

Family medicineAs physicians who practice family medicine are well aware, there is much more to the job than conducting annual physicals and diagnosing colds. Depending on the demands of the practice or the needs of the community, a family medicine practitioner might find her- or himself working extensively in a different field of medicine. For example, many rural physicians whose practices emphasize family medicine might spend nearly as much time working at a hospital emergency department or caring for expectant mothers as they do on office appointments.

After a certain amount of time, family medicine practitioners might actually accrue enough relevant experience that they could find themselves eligible to sit for a physician board certification examination in a field other than family medicine. The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS®) presents qualified physicians the opportunity to achieve board certification in medical specialties based in part on case experience and proven knowledge. The certification specialties that are often ideal for family medicine practitioners to pursue include:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Disaster Medicine
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Urgent Care Medicine
  • Family Medicine Obstetrics
  • Family Medicine

Certification with any of the above ABPS Member Boards makes physicians more marketable to potential employers, enables physicians to gain opportunities for career advancement, which can lead to increased earning potential, and fosters recognition and respect from medical colleagues. Of course, ABPS certification also benefits patients. It promotes ongoing physician education that helps to advance medical specialties and gives physicians opportunities to advocate for better patient care.

Eligibility Requirements of the ABPS

The eligibility requirements for ABPS board certification are as stringent as any multi-specialty certification body in North America. The clinically based examinations provide qualified physicians the opportunity to demonstrate that they possess the skill set, knowledge and experience required to provide the finest medical care possible in a given specialty. ABPS Diplomates are recognized as leaders in their respective specialties, and help shape the national conversation about the changing face of North American medical care in the 21st century.

Important Facts About the ABPS

As you research your options for physician board certification, here are some key points about the ABPS to keep in mind:

  • The ABPS certifies both allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) physicians and is a nationally recognized certifying body.
  • ABPS standards for certification and recertification are rigorous and comparable to ABMS and AOA.
  • Member boards of ABPS focus on clinical knowledge, not medical politics, in their exams.
  • ABPS is the only multi-specialty body that recertifies qualified diplomates of ABMS and AOA.
  • ABPS has Diplomates across all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
  • ABPS Diplomates are graduates of prestigious medical schools and practice in top healthcare institutions.

To learn more about the benefits of earning physician board certification in a specialty in line with your knowledge and experience level, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certification body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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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