Board Certification Turns 75

Share Article

ABMS Traces Beginnings of Specialty Board Movement and Board Certification on its Web site and Renews its Public Commitment to Ensuring Quality of Care

News Image
Out of their strong incentives to establish a proper system for recognizing specialty medicine practitioners comes our sense of responsibility to ensure the continued competence of physician specialists for the benefit of our nation's medical consumers.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the organization that oversees the board certification process of specialty physicians in the United States, is observing 75 years of public service by reflecting on the significance of specialty boards and the board certification system in public medicine and renewing its public commitment to provide meaningful information about a physician's board certification. The organization was officially formed Sept. 20, 1933.

A commemorative section on the ABMS Web site recalls the lessons and legacies of the specialty board movement and honors the men and women who dedicate themselves to the practice of specialty medicine. The special anniversary section found at http://www.abms.org/ABMS_75th looks back on the beginning of the specialty board movement and includes retrospectives on the organization, the leadership and the advancements in physician certification. In addition, resources, tips and information are provided to educate everyone about board certification and its importance in physician selection and provision of care.

ABMS was born out of public outcry for higher quality care. In the early 1900s, there was a clear need to establish a system to assure the public that physician specialists were properly trained and that they continued to stay abreast of new practices and treatments to improve the quality of care delivered. To do this, standards for physician education and evaluation had to be established, and a national system had to be created to enforce the standards, also making it possible to readily identify qualified physician specialists. To this day, ABMS and its Member Boards have been a leading and trusted resource for consumers and healthcare professionals seeking information on physician qualifications. Through ABMS the nation's leaders in specialty medicine convene to continually examine the relationship between physician performance assessment and public accountability. ABMS recently announced approval of a new initiative designed for the public to enhance physician performance assessment. Called the ABMS 2008-2011 Enhanced Public Trust Initiative, its goal is to boost the ABMS Board Enterprise's role as a trusted private sector agent when it comes to physician accountability and to expand resource offerings for the public's need.

"A major anniversary is an appropriate occasion to reflect on an organization's role and accomplishments, and how much things may have changed as a consequence of its existence," said Kevin B. Weiss, MD, ABMS President and CEO. "For more than three-quarters of a century the board certification process, as carried out by the ABMS certifying boards, has served as the primary mechanism by which physicians voluntarily commit to being evaluated for recognition of competence in their chosen specialty and/or subspecialty of medicine. ABMS has consistently acted in the public trust not only as unprecedented leader in professional self-regulation but also as the primary source for information confirming physicians' board certification."

The 24 boards which make up ABMS issue certification in more than 145 specialties and subspecialties. More than 700,000 physicians are certified by one or more ABMS Member Board.

The establishment of ABMS was a turning point for what was once something that people couldn't validate. It provided definitive evidence of a physician's qualifications. ABMS will continue to lead the way toward the highest standards of professionalism, education, integrity and excellence in patient care.

"ABMS has accomplished much since its organization. We owe our success to that first group of dedicated physician visionaries who devoted their efforts and talents to advance the specialty board movement and create what is today ABMS," remarked ABMS Chair Joel A. DeLisa, MD. "Out of their strong incentives to establish a proper system for recognizing specialty medicine practitioners comes our sense of responsibility to ensure the continued competence of physician specialists for the benefit of our nation's medical consumers."

About ABMS

Now in its 75th year, American Board of Medical Specialties is the pre-eminent medical organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. It assists its 24 Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. ABMS Member Boards provide physician certification information to ABMS for its certification verification service programs. ABMS is recognized by the key healthcare credentialing accreditation entities as a primary equivalent source of board certification data for medical specialists. Patients can visit http://www.abms.org or call toll-free 1-866-ASK-ABMS to see if their physician is board certified by an ABMS Member Board. For more information about ABMS visit http://www.abms.org or call (847) 491-9091.

The 24 Member Boards that make up the ABMS Board Enterprise covers over 145 medical specialties and subspecialties include: American Board of Allergy and Immunology, American Board of Anesthesiology, American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Genetics, American Board of Neurological Surgery, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Pathology, American Board of Pediatrics American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Preventive Medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Radiology, American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and American Board of Urology.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print