Maintaining Excellence: A Guide to Physician Recertification
As an experienced physician, you know your craft inside out and understand the importance of delivering unsurpassed care. Part of your commitment to excellence involves keeping up with the latest medical advancements and learning about cutting-edge practices.
You should remain current with medical literature, actively engage with colleagues, recognize and bridge knowledge gaps, and ensure your professional credentials remain current through recertification.
Recertification is an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to superior standards of patient care beyond exam success. It shows you have a continuous improvement mindset and a proactive approach to staying current in your field.
Although a critical part of your duty and responsibility to patients, recertification isn’t without challenges. To help you navigate the maze of recertification, we created this helpful guide for physicians seeking clarity.
What is recertification?
Completing recertification to confirm and validate an elevated competence and knowledge in your specialty will bring you more opportunities and help you stand out in the candidate pool. Recertification is a periodic assessment designed to ensure you stay current with the latest advancements, adhere to evolving standards of care, and maintain the skills necessary to deliver quality healthcare.
The process typically involves completing continuing education, demonstrating ongoing clinical practice, and, in some cases, successfully passing an examination.
Recertification is encouraged to uphold the highest standards of patient care and guarantee you’re well-equipped to manage your career.
What does recertification involve?
Recertification is a structured process, and the specific requirements can vary based on the medical specialty and certifying board.
In the United States, there are several board-certifying organizations for physicians, including:
- American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board Certification: The ABMS is the most popular option and includes 24 member boards who certify 40 specialties and 85 subspecialties, including The American Board of Family Medicine.
- American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS): The ABPS is a lesser-known board-certifying organization that began in 1952. It offers certification and recertification in 18 specialties, including innovative examples such as disaster medicine and integrative medicine.
- American Osteopathic Association (AOA): Osteopathic physicians can become board-certified through the AOA, which certifies 29 specialties and 77 subspecialties.
Before proceeding, you must review the recertification requirements and process outlined by the specific board you intend to apply to. However, here is a general overview of what it may involve:
- Continuing Medical Education (CME): You are required to accumulate a certain number of continuing education credits through approved activities, such as attending conferences, workshops, online courses, and other forms of education.
- Clinical practice requirements: Many certifying boards mandate a minimum level of clinical practice during the recertification period. This involves actively engaging in patient care, demonstrating ongoing clinical competence, and staying current with the practical aspects of medical practice.
- Examinations: Some certifying boards require you to pass a recertification examination to assess knowledge and competency in your specialty.
- Professionalism and ethics: Recertification may involve an assessment of your adherence to ethical standards and professionalism to ensure you maintain a commitment to ethical conduct and patient-centered care.
- Updated credentials and licensing: Your state licenses and other relevant certifications must be current.
- Application process: You must submit an application for recertification within a specified timeframe. It typically includes details about your education, training, professional experience, and other relevant information.
What are the benefits of being a board-certified physician?
Being a board-certified physician has many advantages extending beyond professional recognition. Here are some key benefits:
- Commitment to excellence: Board certification reflects your commitment to maintaining the highest standards of medical knowledge, patient care, and ethical conduct.
- Career advancement opportunities: Many hospitals and clinics prefer to hire board-certified physicians, and it may positively influence promotions, leadership roles, and academic appointments.
- Patient satisfaction and safety: Patients often seek physicians with board certification, associating it with superior clinical skills and outcomes.
- Networking and collaboration: Board certification connects you with a network of peers who share similar professional standards and provides opportunities for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and access to resources that can enrich your practice and professional development.
- Continuous professional development: The process of obtaining and maintaining board certification requires ongoing learning and professional development. This commitment benefits not only your individual practice but contributes to the overall advancement of healthcare.
If in doubt, reach out! Your Integrity Locums consultant available to support you through the recertification process and can connect you with the right resources. If you need information, guidance, or confirmation you’re on the right track, pick up the phone and let’s chat.