What is a board-certified doctor?

What is a board-certified doctor?  Why does it matter?

The terms board-certified and board-eligible can be confusing to people not familiar with healthcare. There’s a notable distinction between doctors who are board-certified and board-eligible and those who are not.

At Signature Medical Group, many of our specialists are certified by various medical boards. Why does this matter?

When you or a family member needs healthcare or medical treatment, you want the best doctor. When you choose a doctor who is board-certified by one of the boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties you can be confident he or she meets nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills.

Board-certification goes beyond basic medical licensure. Each doctor has not only completed medical school, internship and residency (and many a specialized fellowship as well), but, a board-certified doctor has chosen to sit for a specialized exam with rigorous standards.  Down the road, the doctor must make a continued commitment to medical education to remain board-certified.

What is board-eligible? A doctor who completes a residency program and then passes a written test becomes eligible to take an oral test after a certain period of practice. When the doctor passes the oral exam, he or she becomes board-certified.

Since 1933, the ABMS boards have been certifying doctors to help assure patients as well as hospitals, health plans, insurers and the government that these doctors are qualified to provide expert healthcare. With the guidance and support of ABMS, each of the group’s 24 boards is responsible for developing and implementing the educational and professional standards for quality practice in a medical specialty or subspecialty, as well as for evaluating candidates for board-certification.