How Specialty Certification Helps Physicians Differentiate Their Credentials

Specialty CertificationThe primary function of physician board certification is to provide a platform for physician specialists to demonstrate a mastery of the core competencies required to provide the best possible care in a given medical specialty. The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) governs 18 specialty boards that allow physicians to prove they possess the skill and experience necessary to practice their chosen specialties. Naturally, there is more to specialty certification than a nice, framed certificate. In fact, very little else can help a physician differentiate his or her credentials for the purposes of career advancement.

How does specialty certification from the ABPS help a physician stand out? Consider the standard career path for many physicians − medical school, residency, perhaps a fellowship, then practice. Most physicians also seek board certification, typically in a broad field such as internal medicine or family medicine. As careers advance, however, some physicians find themselves gravitating toward more specific practices of medicine. These physicians might practice in an emergency department at a hospital, or move into a field such as Integrative Medicine. The job might lead them to work at an urgent care center, or move from an urban area into a rural area, where practitioners of specialties such as Family Medicine Obstetrics are less prevalent. In all of these cases, achieving specialty certification can serve to distinguish a physician from the competition. Specialties that fall into this category can include:

  • Hospital Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Urgent Care Medicine
  • Family Medicine Obstetrics
  • Disaster Medicine
  • Integrative Medicine
  • And others

To learn more about how specialty certification can differentiate a physician within a competitive job market, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official board-certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.


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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