What Does Board Certification Mean?

What Does Board Certification Mean?For a physician, board certification is a mark of distinction. It indicates the education that he or she has undertaken beyond the minimal standards and competency requirements in a chosen specialty. For leaders of medical institutions, board certification signifies a physician’s achievement. It testifies to the mastery that the physician has shown in his or her respective field of medicine. At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we believe that board certification provides yet another benefit that hospitals and physician leaders would appreciate – it not only identifies the most qualified physicians, but suggests which one would be the best fit for a job opening in a particular medical specialty.

As one of the three federally recognized multi-specialty certifying bodies in the United States, the ABPS has stringent eligibility requirements that have been defined by its Member Boards. These standards differ according to the boards’ specialties, but the focus on rigorous testing and training is consistent. The ABPS emphasizes psychometrically evaluated testing and advanced training in addition to experience and moral character. Consequently, doctors who have achieved board certification through the ABPS have proven through written, and in some cases oral or hands-on simulation, a mastery of the core body of knowledge and skills in their specialties as well as a willingness to adhere to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics. It should be noted that the ABPS is the only medical board certifying body that requires physicians to take an ethics course for recertification.  As far as certifying standards are concerned, the three federally recognized multi-specialty certifying bodies – the ABPS, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) – set the most exacting standards.

In order to be recertified, physicians must show a commitment to continuing medical education as well successfully complete a recertification exam. The ABPS believes that doctors who seek out education and keep abreast of the constantly changing medical field are best suited to deliver exceptional medical care. In essence, board recertification provides medical institutions the assurance that practicing physicians have continued to display a superior level of knowledge and skills.

With board certified physicians on staff, a hospital or clinic also delivers a recognizably positive message about its credentials to patients. Patients may be feeling especially vulnerable, so trusting that they are in competent and caring hands can go a long way toward quelling their anxieties and helping them heal. Board certification through the ABPS also means that hospitals may confidently consider ABPS Diplomates to fill leadership roles, and as leaders these respected physicians will be in a position to shape the medical profession for years to come.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of physician board certification and why it is important to hospitals and clinics, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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.

Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine