Why Does It Matter if Physicians Are Board Certified?
After graduating from medical school and completing residency training in their specialty, physicians become eligible to apply for a license to practice medicine. Issued by the state, a license serves as proof that a doctor has the training and competency to provide medical care. But in the American healthcare system, these are minimum standards. As intense as medical school and medical practice can be, board certification implies that physicians have gone above and beyond these demands to be considered qualified leaders in their specialties.
Board Certification Benefits Physicians, Hospitals & Patients
Board certification requirements are notably stringent. Beyond requiring a medical license and the completion of residency training, most recognized certifying bodies require that candidates pass rigorous exams and complete several hours of continuing medical education annually. Because only the most skilled and knowledgeable practitioners go on to achieve board certification, board certified physicians are widely viewed as leaders in their fields. This distinction is a boon for career advancement, but more importantly, it benefits patients.
Patients view certification as a mark of a physician’s credentials, and the confidence that certification inspires in patients also helps to bolster the reputation of medical organizations. With certified physicians on staff, a hospital effectively declares to the public that some of the best medical care available can be found there. And, because certified physicians must continue ongoing education in order to maintain certification, they display a commitment to medical care that serves as a model for the American healthcare industry.
Physician Board Certification From a Nationally Recognized Board
As one of three nationally recognized multi-specialty board certifying bodies in the United States, the American Board of Physicians Specialties® (ABPS) serves the healthcare community by offering qualified allopathic and osteopathic physicians a path toward board certification. We maintain a non-discriminatory approach and offer certification in various specialties, including emergency medicine certification for primary care trained doctors. So, physicians who have extensive experience working in emergency departments, but who completed their residencies in a primary care field, can earn certification in emergency medicine with the ABPS without needing to complete an additional residency.
As an organization committed to meeting the challenges of emerging public health issues, the ABPS has developed boards that are unique in the certification industry, including the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM), the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), and the Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics (BCFMO).
Eligibility Requirements of the ABPS
The ABPS maintains stringent eligibility requirements and has developed rigorous exams to ensure only the most skilled and dedicated physicians earn this coveted designation. While the eligibility requirements of the ABPS differ from specialty to specialty, all ABPS Member Boards share certain general eligibility requirements, including:
- Being in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the ABPS, being known in the community as an ethical member of the profession, and being an active practitioner in the specialty for which you’re seeking certification
- Having graduated from a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine. International graduates must also hold a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.
- Holding a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.
Get More Information About the Benefits of ABPS Board Certification
If you would like to learn more about the importance of physician board certification to practitioners, hospitals, and patients, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®