What Legislators and Healthcare Policy Makers Need to Know When Drafting or Amending Legislation Concerning Physician Board Certification

Over the years, state legislatures across the country have considered proposals that, contrary to stated intentions, would limit people’s access to quality medical care. At the center of this issue is physician board certification.

As one of the medical industry’s highest honors, board certification serves as proof that a physician has the skills, talent, and experience to deliver safe and effective medical treatment.  Certification is one of the tools healthcare organizations and healthcare systems use to improve patient safety and quality of care. But efforts to pass laws that would limit a physician’s ability to advertise as board certified would undermine the very benefits that certification provides. That’s because, under these proposals, only physicians certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) can be considered board certified.

Already, narrowly written hospital policies across the country have blocked numerous doctors certified by other boards from positions for which they are eminently qualified. To make matters worse, nationwide there is a growing shortage of physicians, a problem that started long before the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this, why would states then choose to limit the public’s access to qualified physicians by defining board certification so narrowly?

At the American Board of Physician Specialties®, a nationally recognized multi-specialty certifying body, we maintain that these legislative efforts seek to create regulations that would further the interests of certain boards at the expense of others. We encourage legislators to reject act any of these transparently self-serving proposals and ensure that ABPS physicians are included in advertising legislation.

Founded in 1952, the ABPS takes a pragmatic approach to certification, offering both allopathic and osteopathic physicians certification and recertification in 20 different specialties, from traditional medical fields like family medicine and anesthesiology to emerging specialties like disaster medicine and urgent care medicine. Furthermore, the ABPS is the only multi-specialty board certifying body that requires its Diplomates to complete a medical ethics course to achieve recertification. If you would like to learn more about the ABPS and our mission to offer the highest standards of physician board certification, contact us 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.

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