Font Size:

Why Board Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics?

John Waits, MDIn 2014, the American Journal of Clinical Medicine published a study that reaffirmed what we at the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) have asserted all along – that the care delivered by family medicine physicians is comparable to obstetrics care provided by OB/GYN specialists. In short, the study showed that an experienced family medicine obstetrician can competently perform all of the delivery and post-delivery responsibilities associated with the OB/GYN specialty, including high-risk pregnancies and pre-term deliveries.

But, in rural areas, there is a dire need for more residency-trained family medicine obstetricians. Fellowship programs in family medicine obstetrics were created to address that need, but as more hospitals and insurance companies mandate board certification for physicians, the need has grown more urgent. That’s why the ABPS developed the Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics® (BCFMO).  We understand that fellowship programs can give family medicine physicians an advanced level of training, and recognize that family medicine obstetricians provide full OB care in their family practices. So, the BCFMO provides qualified family medicine obstetricians who have completed advanced training in maternity care the chance to prove that they have the skills, knowledge, and experience required to provide their patients with exceptional care.

John Waits, MD, a Diplomate of the BCFMO, is one of our success stories. “This past year,” he said, “our group of three family medicine obstetricians had a practice change. We left one hospital and sought credentialing and privileges in another hospital. One of us had been a family medicine obstetrician for over a decade, with C-section experience. Another one was two years out of an FM-OB fellowship, and one had just completed an FM-OB fellowship. Since this hospital had not had experience with Family Physicians with C-section training, hospital administration, legal, and the department of ObGyn all had their own questions and concerns about credentialing and privileging us. The primary piece that made this situation a win-win for us and for the hospital, was that I was board certified, and my partners were board eligible. I am grateful to have board certification in family medicine obstetrics so that we can continue to provide comprehensive, full-spectrum family medicine to our patients and their families.”

The BCFMO invites qualified physicians to apply for certification in family medicine obstetrics. For information about the BCFMO’s eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®