Resident Physicians Have Choice in Medical Specialty Board Certification

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American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) offers resident physicians choice in board certification across 16 medical specialties. Applications are now being accepted for spring exams.

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Once a resident physician becomes board eligible, he or she may choose any of the boards that offer certification in their appropriate specialty.

“Many times resident physicians don’t realize they have a choice in board certification,” said William J. Carbone, Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). “Once a resident physician becomes board eligible, he or she may choose any of the boards that offer certification in their appropriate specialty.” he added.

ABPS member boards offer certification exams twice a year in 16 medical specialties. ABPS is the only nationally recognized organization offering certification to both M.D.’s (allopathic physicians) and D.O.’s (osteopathic physicians). ABPS member boards are the only ones that recertify physicians previously certified by medical specialty boards affiliated with other organizations in addition to its own.

Applications are now being accepted for the ABPS spring exams. The deadline to apply is December 1. Applications, eligibility requirements, exam schedule, and certification fees for each of the ABPS specialties is available online at Questions can be emailed to Director of Certification Cassandra Newby at cnewby (at) aapsus (dot) org.

ABPS identifies emerging public health issues in the practice of medicine that affect patients. “Because we are keenly aware of trends resulting from recent changes, we formed new boards of certification in Disaster Medicine, Hospital Medicine and Family Medicine Obstetrics,” Carbone said. “Another board certification now under development is in the practice of Urgent Care Medicine.”

In an effort to keep pace with rapid advances in medicine, additional exciting and innovative boards of certification are being explored and planned for the future by ABPS.

“While board certification is voluntary, it helps physicians assure patients that they have the appropriate training in their specialties and have been tested,” said Carbone.

To ensure the medical competency of its Diplomate physicians ABPS requires recertification every eight years. Additionally, ABPS is the first and only certifying body to require non-remedial medical ethics training as part of its physician recertification program.

The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc. (AAPS), creates and maintains rigorous standards for physicians to update their medical knowledge and become certified or recertified in the following medical specialties: Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Diagnostic Radiology, Disaster Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine Obstetrics, Family Practice, Geriatric Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Psychiatry, Radiation Oncology, and Surgery. The boards and examinations are managed and developed by Diplomates from Member Boards of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOABOS) -- many of whom are dual boarded.

More information about ABPS is available online at


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