Why Does It Matter if Physicians Are Board Certified?

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.®

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.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine