VA Hiring PracticesVA Physician Shortages could be Mitigated by Adjusting Hiring Practices to ABPS Board Certification

An article in the Wall Street Journal in January 2014 shed light on an issue that is extremely relevant to America’s service veterans: Registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants could potentially be tasked with providing advanced care in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system, mostly because of a perceived nationwide shortage of qualified physicians. In truth, the physician shortage is exacerbated by inconsistent hiring practices in the VHA system.

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) believes that the shortage could be mitigated if the VHA expanded its hiring practices for emergency departments and other open positions to make eligible qualified physicians who have achieved ABPS board certification. As it stands, there is no guarantee that ABPS Diplomates with board certification in specialties such as Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine and other relevant specialties will receive consideration to fill open positions. Simply stated: Omitting ABPS Diplomates from the candidate pool needlessly reduces the number of qualified physicians who might apply for open positions.

Why needlessly? Because by every standard, ABPS board certification is on par with the two other, larger, nationally recognized multi-specialty board certification bodies, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association-Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOA-BOS). The eligibility requirements for ABPS board certification are every bit as stringent as those of the other bodies, and the clinically based exams are developed using the most rigorous standards for measuring the knowledge base and skill set required to provide the best medical care available.

In addition, physicians who work at a VA facility and are qualified under the GI Bill can have their ABPS certification or recertification fees reimbursed by the VA. Yet, VA hiring practices remain contradictory in that they do not seem to lend equal weight to ABPS board certification. Rather, there is ample anecdotal evidence that some hiring agents are more inclined to promote or hire physicians who are board certified through other certifying bodies, which is monopolistic as well as inconsistent. The way to remedy that is to formalize recognition of the validity of ABPS board certification.

To learn more about how adjusting hiring practices at VHA facilities to be more open to qualified ABPS Diplomates might help address the nationwide physician shortage, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official board certifying 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