What Is Board Certification?


Quick Answer

A medical professional who is board certified has been evaluated by one of the American Board of Medical Specialties member boards. Boards ensure that professionals meet benchmarks for education, knowledge, experience and skills. Board certification goes beyond the simple process of granting licenses to practice.

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Full Answer

The ABMS has been providing certification for medical professionals since 1933. This service provides assurance that these professionals are capable of providing top-notch health care in a variety of specialties and sub-specialties not only to patients but also to health care plans, insurers, hospitals, state and federal authorities and other entities. The 24 member-boards are in charge of certifications and of developing and maintaining strict standards to keep up with technological, medical and organizational advancements. The boards also make sure that medical professionals continue their education in their working fields through maintenance certification programs that continue to evaluate professionals throughout their careers.

To check if a medical professional is board certified, an individual can conduct a search on the ABMS website, call a toll free number, request written verification of certification by contacting the proper member board or consult "The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists." This volume can be found in any medical or public library. Listings in the directory provide up-to-date biographical and professional information of all certified members.

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