What Does it Mean to be Board Certified?

Board Certification Matters

In a world of so much information it is often difficult to sort out what’s legitimate and what’s not. The same can be said about board certification for physicians. Most physicians will often claim being board certified in some speciality. Unfortunately, titles and training do not often coincide with each other. This can be very confusing for the patient who is attempting to make an educated choice prior to seeking medical services.

The creation of boards were a means by which people could be assured that a physician has met a specific criteria of training and that their treatment will be consistent with the boards requirements. However, while some boards attempt to maintain a high level of professional conduct, others may lack with compliance standards.

It’s important for patients to do their due-dilligence in assessing a physician’s qualifications prior to receiving any treatment. However, the following criteria can be used when determining the value of a specific boards certification including:

  • How long has the board be around?
  • What are the qualifications of belonging?
  • Who governs the board?
  • Is the board inclusive of other medical board and specialties or do they act on their own?
  • Does the board require continual re-certification?
  • What type of disciplines and enforcements do they provide?

The complexities of understanding a physician’s certifications and credentials are often confusing to the average patient. However, by adding an additional layer of board certifications it can really becomes confusing, especially when you have two competing boards, that offer similar certifications, but do not recognize the legitimacy of each other.

So how is a person to know?
A good place to start is with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Their primary goal is to manage other medical specialties boards through credentialling and standards of care. This certification and competency process is consistent across all the medical boards that ABMS governs.

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