To practice medicine in the United States, individuals must complete an internship and residency in addition to their initial medical education. Most physicians continue to complete additional training in one or more specialties. Unlike a medical license, which is the minimum mandatory requirement to practice medicine in the United States, board certification is a voluntary process doctors undertake to demonstrate expertise in their chosen field.
ABMS and Board Certification
To become board certified, physicians must complete intensive training and pass an exam in each specialty. Board-certified physicians are considered experts in their respective fields. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board Certification is the trusted leader in establishing and maintaining healthcare specialty certification in this country.
The ABMS is made up of 24 member boards offering board certification in 40 different specialties and 85 subspecialties. In a recent report, the ABMS recommended several steps to ensure board certification continues to be a worthwhile process that enhances every physician’s expertise and standard of care.
In the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future final report, the ABMS makes certain recommendations for the agency to continue providing a system enabling physicians to provide safe, high-quality, patient-centered care.
Among the many initiatives included in report, the ABMS recommends:
- Developing innovative tools to assess physician knowledge and skills
- Encouraging independent research among diplomates
- Fair, transparent, and effective board certification standards and processes
- Fostering continued dialogue and feedback between ABMS Boards and diplomates
- Making diplomate certification history available to the public
- Revising diplomate’s credentials when ongoing certification standards are not met
In response to the report, the ABMS Board of Directors announced their plans to create an Oversight Committee and separate task force groups to implement these recommendations and maintain the integrity of the board certification process moving forward.
Problems with Board Certification and Credentialing
A board-certified physician surpasses the minimal required training and education to become an expert in their chosen specialty. While the process comes with undeniable academic and clinical benefits, board certification also comes with rigorous standards as well. Any professional misstep or medical mistake can result in a complaint or investigation against a physician that may jeopardize their certification and career.
Penalties for these offenses range from fines, credential suspensions, and even criminal charges. Any physician accused of unprofessional behavior or activity, whether it is sexual misconduct, financial misdeeds, or medical malpractice, should consult a physician lawyer who specializes in health care law to protect the career they worked so hard to build.
Philadelphia Physician Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Protect Health Care Professionals Facing Board Certification Issues
If you are facing board certification or credentialing issues, the Philadelphia physician lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online today. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.