What Board Certification in a Physician’s Specialty Means to Patients, Employers, and the Doctor’s Career

What Board Certification in a Physician’s Specialty Means to Patients, Employers, and the Doctor’s CareerA patient’s decision to consult a specialist is not something that’s taken lightly. It often comes after the patient has already visited a primary care physician and tried various treatments without success. Or, it’s a sober acknowledgment that the patient’s condition requires the care and attention of someone with specialized knowledge and skills. Patients visit specialists fully expecting them to have experience in treating specific conditions, whether it’s a torn shoulder ligament or gestational diabetes. Nonetheless, these visits can be fraught with anxiety.

That’s where physician board certification helps. While it’s true that an attentive doctor, backed by years of medical training, can do much to allay a patient’s uncertainty, board certification continues to be a reliable indicator of a doctor’s ability to deliver compassionate and expert medical care patients need. It serves as confirmation that a doctor is uniquely qualified in his or her specialty, instilling patients with confidence that they are in good hands.

Board certification also benefits the physician specialist’s employer. With certified specialists on staff, an organization can rightly declare to the public that it is committed to offering the highest standard of medical care. Thus, board-certified specialists lend their organizations prestige that allows them to stand out in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace.

Board Certification Rewards Talent and Dedication

Because earning board certification is no easy feat, only the most talented and dedicated specialists become certified. This means that certified specialists are considered leaders in their fields, and as a result, are more marketable to employers. Having demonstrated their expertise through a rigorous certification process, they also enjoy expanded opportunities for career advancement along with increased earning potential.

If you are a licensed physician who is considering becoming board certified in your specialty, the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) encourages you to apply to one of our Member Boards. We are a nationally recognized multi-specialty certifying body with countless Diplomates practicing across the United States. We offer certification in traditional fields like family medicine and dermatology as well as emerging specialties like integrative medicine and urgent care medicine. Other certification options include disaster medicine, family medicine obstetrics, and orthopedic surgery, just to name a few.

Facts About the ABPS

When considering your options for physician board certification, keep these facts about the ABPS in mind:

  • Our standards are rigorous: ABPS maintains exceptionally rigorous certification and recertification standards, in alignment with ABMS and AOA, ensuring the highest quality among medical professionals.
  • We maintain a clinical focus: ABPS Member Boards prioritize clinical knowledge over medical politics in their examinations, placing a strong emphasis on practical expertise.
  • We offer unique recertifications: The ABPS proudly stands as the only multi-specialty body that offers recertification to qualified diplomates of ABMS and AOA, underscoring its unwavering commitment to excellence.
  • We have earned widespread recognition: With Diplomates serving in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada, the ABPS enjoys extensive recognition and influence across a broad geographic area.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements of the ABPS?

The eligibility requirements of the ABPS differ from specialty to specialty, but all ABPS Member Boards share certain general eligibility requirements, including:

  • Being in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the ABPS, being known in the community as an ethical member of the profession, and being an active practitioner in the specialty for which you’re seeking certification
  • Having graduated from a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine.
  • Holding a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.

Contact the ABPS today to learn more about our boards or for information about our eligibility requirements. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS), Inc.

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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.

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