Why Many Physicians Become Board Certified

Smiling female pediatrician gives advice to patients

For years, Board Certification has been the most trusted indicator that a physician has mastered the core competencies of his or her area of expertise. Being a Board Certified physician is more important today than ever before for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, the process of becoming board certified through the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) is intentionally rigorous. In order to earn the distinction of board certification, candidates must have verifiable experience in their specialty area, successfully complete a standardized, psychometrically validated examination, and, in some cases, submit to an oral examination, in addition to completing a thorough application. The goal of this process is to ensure that only the most highly qualified physicians are able to earn the distinction of being board certified.

Medical Organizations Prioritize the Hiring of Board-Certified Physicians

While Board Certification is officially a voluntary process, there are many reasons why physicians should consider making the commitment necessary to become certified. For starters, many healthcare organizations, hospitals, and other organization are increasingly requiring that their physicians be certified in their specialty. As a result, physicians who are motivated to advance their careers or pursue new opportunities may find that Board Certification is essential.

ABPS Certification Allows Physicians to Stay Updated on Medical Advancements

Another benefit to Board Certification is that in order to maintain Diplomate status, physicians are required to commit to continuing medical education and staying informed of new developments in their chosen specialties. This keeps physicians up to date on best healthcare practices and elevates the quality of care that the medical community as a whole provides. While not all patients know what goes into obtaining and maintaining Board Certification, they know it indicates that the physician is highly qualified and this provides a competitive advantage when someone is researching physicians in the community.

Certification Is a Trusted Indication of a Physician’s Skill and Dedication

Board Certification also validates the expertise of the physician, not only to prospective patients or employers but to peers as well. While earning this credential isn’t always easy, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with being recognized for being among the most qualified and respected physicians in the field.

Why the ABPS Stands Apart From Other Certification Boards

The ABPS is the only physician certification organization in the country that offers certification in emerging fields like family medicine obstetrics, disaster medicine, and integrative medicine. This distinctive approach reflects a commitment to recognizing and advancing evolving medical specialties. The ABPS also stands out by pioneering a pathway for career emergency medicine physicians, allowing those specializing in primary care to attain emergency medicine certification through an innovative fellowship program. This inclusive strategy addresses a gap in the certification landscape, distinguishing the ABPS as an organization dedicated to providing specialized recognition for exceptional physicians across a diverse range of specialties.

Eligibility Requirements of the ABPS

The ABPS believes that board certification should be reserved for physicians who can demonstrate an exceptional level of expertise in their specialty. That’s why we maintain stringent eligibility requirements. These requirements differ from specialty to specialty, but all ABPS Member Boards share certain 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.

To learn more about the process to becoming Board Certified, or to confirm the credentials of an ABPS physician in your community, contact ABPS today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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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