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 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 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
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