What Is the ABAM?

What Is the ABAM?The American Board of Administrative Medicine (ABAM) is a nationally recognized certifying board that offers certification to physicians with proven expertise in nonclinical medicine. The ABAM is a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), one of the nation’s most prominent multispecialty certifying bodies and the only board that offers certification in administrative medicine.

As defined by the ABAM, administrative medicine is the practice of physicians who, as executive leaders, manage the integration of clinical medicine, strategy, operations, and other business activities essential to achieving high-quality health care.

Since our founding in 1952, patient care has always been the priority of the ABPS, and we are committed to offering the highest certification standards that meet the public’s evolving healthcare needs. But we also understand that medicine is a business, and that there is a pressing need for physician leaders with business training and expertise. This need has created new opportunities for physician leaders, and ABAM certification is an excellent way for them to distinguish themselves and earn recognition for their insight into the business of medicine.

As Founding ABAM Board Member Judy L. Smith, MD, MS, CPE, FACS, stated: “Certification by the ABAM demonstrates to employers, hospital CEOs, boards of trustees, and other stakeholders that a physician leader has the business acumen to help them deliver exceptional medical care in a cost-efficient manner.”

ABAM Eligibility Requirements

The ABAM offers certification to both allopathic and osteopathic physicians. To be eligible to apply for initial certification, candidates must satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS. These include being a graduate of a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine, and holding a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, its territories, or Canada. The ABAM has its own eligibility requirements, which include a master’s degree in business administration, medical management, or healthcare administration, or at least five years of cumulative experience in an administrative role in medical management, health administration, or another advanced degree in health care management/administration.

To earn certification with the ABAM, eligible candidates must pass a computer-based written exam. Once granted, ABAM certification is good for eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.

If you are a physician with experience in business leadership and management and would like more information about certification in administrative medicine, contact the ABPS today.


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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.

ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.

Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine
ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine