What Is the American Board of Physician Specialties®?

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) is one of the three most prominent, nationally recognized multi-specialty certifying entities in North America. With 12 Member Boards and Diplomates in 20 specialties, the ABPS has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as a leading choice for physician board certification.

Since certifying our first physician way back in 1960, we have maintained a pragmatic and inclusive approach to certification, offering certification to both allopathic and osteopathic physicians. We’re well-versed in emerging public health issues and have developed innovative boards in disaster medicine, integrative medicine, and family medicine obstetrics, among others. We may be the smallest of the nation’s three primary certification boards, but our standards are no less rigorous.

Why the ABPS Certification Is a Mark of Distinction in the Medical Industry

ABPS boards emphasize psychometrically evaluated testing, in addition to advanced training, experience, and moral character. That’s why only the brightest and most dedicated talents go on to achieve ABPS certification. Once certified by the ABPS, a physician becomes a member of a community of like-minded professionals who are nationally recognized for their achievements. ABPS-certified physicians work at some of the nation’s most respected institutions and can be found across all 50 states, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. As members of a distinguished community of physicians, ABPS Diplomates exchange information about clinical experiences and best practices and enjoy abundant leadership opportunities within the community.

Why It’s Important to Have Choices in Physician Board Certification

At the ABPS, we believe that more competition in physician board certification can foster innovation and improvements in medicine. By providing physicians with another recognized choice for board certification besides the ABMS and the AOA, the ABPS promotes competition that can lead to a better healthcare system, one that benefits patients, physicians, and the medical community as a whole.

Key Points About ABPS Certification to Keep in Mind

When exploring your options for physician board certification, consider these essential facts about the ABPS:

  • Our standards are rigorous – The certification and recertification standards of the ABPS are on par with those of ABMS and AOA, ensuring high-quality medical professionals.
  • We maintain a clinical focus – ABPS Member Boards prioritize clinical knowledge over medical politics in their examinations, ensuring a strong emphasis on practical expertise.
  • We offer unique recertification – The ABPS stands as the only multi-specialty body that recertifies qualified diplomates of ABMS and AOA, further highlighting its commitment to excellence.
  • The ABPS is widely recognized – With Diplomates working in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and Canada, the ABPS’s influence and recognition are widespread.

To learn more about the ABPS, including our eligibility requirements for specialty board certification, contact us today. We would be happy to provide you with detailed information.

Save the Date
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