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.