American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)  
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Is My Doctor Board Certified?
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Link to EvidenceLibrary
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABMS Frequently Asked Questions
ABMS makes every attempt to answer all inquiries. For the fastest possible response, we encourage you to read through our Frequently Asked Questions.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Verifying Certification Medical Advice and Physician Referrals Comments and Complaints Products and Services Public Display of MOC Information
Publication Ordering For Physicians Research and Media Technical Support About ABMS
About Physician Specialties About Board Certification Contact Information

Verifying Certification
Verifying a doctor's Board Certification (for Personal use)
  1. Our online verification service is available for personal use by consumers to research physicians. You will be asked to register for the service by typing in some basic information. To verify a physician's certification, simply go back to the Is Your Doctor Certified page, enter your search criteria and click on the search button. If you are already logged in, you will see your results immediately, otherwise, you will be asked to identify whether you are a returning or new user. You can either enter your e-mail and password as a returning user, or create a new account. Once you have logged on to the site you will stay logged in for 90 days.
  2. Our toll-free service can be reached by calling 866-ASK-ABMS (275-2267).
  3. You can look up information in the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists which can be found in many medical and public libraries.
Verifying a doctor's Board Certification (for Professional use)
Certification information contained in the “Is Your Doctor Certified?” section of www.abms.org is officially recognized ABMS data. Individuals listed are currently certified in the areas of specialization and sub-specialization as noted. Commercial use of such data, for example to satisfy NCQA and The Joint Commission requirements, generally requires not only verification of certification, but also the dates of certification. ABMS makes its primary source data available in online services available from licensed partners. Information from these online services is accepted by The Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC and other accrediting organizations. Please contact our partners for additional information on their offerings:

Elsevier, publisher of Board Certified Docs
http://www.boardcertifieddocs.com/
800-523-1649 ext 3276
h.licensing@elsevier.com

CertiFACTS Online
http://www.certifacts.org
(800) 733-2267
dcoursey@ABMSsolutions.com
Online search did not return any results
There could be many reasons why a physician does not appear following a search. It could mean that:
  1. the doctor may not be certified by an ABMS Member Board
  2. the physician may not have an active certification from an ABMS Member Board
  3. the profile may not be available because the physician requested that their information be kept private
First, check the spelling of the doctor's name and the location criteria as these are often common reasons for information not being returned. You can also check again at a later time in the event the information has not yet been updated. In the case of newly certified physicians, the information may not be available from our database for 90 days following a congratulatory letter from the specific ABMS Member Board to the physician. In the meantime, you could call the ABMS Member Board that you think he or she is certified with and they may be able to help you.
How to perform a physician search on the ABMS Website
Access the online search service in the Is Your Doctor Certified? section of this Website. Enter your search criteria and click on the search button. If you are already logged in, you will see your results immediately. Otherwise, you will be asked to identify whether you are a returning or new user. You can either enter your email and password as a returning user, or create a new account. Once you have logged on to the site you will stay logged in for 90 days.

You may Search by any combination of search criteria. There are no required fields for searching, though the search must be performed by at least one criterion. The more information you are able to provide, the better your search results will be. Physician Search Results are provided as a list of names based on the criteria you provide, and will be limited to the first 200 records that match your criteria. A physician report is viewed by clicking on a specific physician’s name within the Physician Search Results list.
Frequency of database updates
We receive information from our Member Boards to update our database on a regular basis. Information that is accessed through “Is Your Doctor Certified?” is updated once a week. Information available through our licensed partners for professional use is updated more frequently. In the case of newly certified physicians, the information may not be available from our database for 90 days following a congratulatory letter from the specific ABMS Member Board to the physician (diplomate.) In the meantime, you could call the ABMS Member Board that you think he or she is certified with and they may be able to help you. Click here to learn more about getting ABMS data.
How to find out if a doctor has practiced in another state
You can find out this information either through a state medical board or through the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) DocInfo service which will provide you with professional information on physicians and physician assistants licensed in the United States including information on disciplinary sanctions, education, medical specialty, licensure history and locations. You can also reach FSMB by calling (817) 868-4000.
How to obtain additional biographical information on a doctor
The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists published by Elsevier under license from ABMS lists basic biographical information on physicians certified by an ABMS Member Board. This four-volume set can be found in many public and medical libraries. You may also ask your doctor's office for his or her resume.
Verifying the certification of a physician with Canadian specialties certification
In this instance, contact the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. They can respond to specific inquiries to confirm that a doctor is certified as a specialist and the year of certification.
ABMS Affiliation
Please note that neither ABMS, nor any of its Member Boards, is affiliated with BoardCertified LLC. Subscription to or payment of any fees to Boardcertified.com or BoardCertified LLC will not affect any diplomate's certification status with their Member Board or listing on an ABMS database.
If none of these topics answered your question, click here.
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Medical Advice and Physician Referrals
Doctor recommendation or referral
Unfortunately, this is not a service provided by ABMS. We are not a doctor referral service. Some possible resources are your insurance company or the doctor referral service at your local medical center. There are a number of commercial toll-free numbers you can call. You can also go to the reference section of your public library and look at the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists to find a particular physician. To confirm that physician's certification, go to the Is Your Doctor Certified? section. You will be asked to register for the service by typing in some basic information. You can also call our toll-free service at 800-ASK-ABMS (275-2267).
Medical condition question
Unfortunately, we do not have physicians on staff who can answer your question. We recommend you consult your family physician.
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Comments and Complaints
Filing a complaint against a physician
To file a complaint against your doctor, you'll need to contact your state medical board. The state medical board directory can be accessed at http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html.
How to find out if a doctor has any disciplinary actions against him or her
You can find out this information either through the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) (http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html) or through the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) DocInfo (http://www.docinfo.org/) service which will provide you with professional information on physicians and physician assistants licensed in the United States including information on disciplinary sanctions, education, medical specialty, licensure history and locations.
More information is needed about a doctor than what is available through the ABMS Web site
Certification information contained through “Is Your Doctor Certified?” on abms.org is provided by ABMS as a free public serivce. You can find additional biographical information in the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists which can be found in many medical and public libraries. Additional information can also be found through online services from our licensed partners' products. Both Primary Source Verification (PSV) and non-Primary Source (non-PSV) data are available. Reports from these products containing dates of certification are considered Primary Source and satisfy The Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC and other accrediting organizations' requirements. Please contact our partners for additional information on their offerings:

Elsevier, publisher of Board Certified Docs
http://www.boardcertifieddocs.com/
800-523-1649 ext 3276
h.licensing@elsevier.com

CertiFACTS Online
http://www.certifacts.org
(800) 773-2267
dcoursey@ABMSsolutions.com
Praising a doctor for good care
Though there is no formal method for praising a doctor for good care, it is a good practice to recognize your physician for the care you or your family receives. We suggest that you write to your doctor to show your appreciation and be sure to give friends and family the name of your doctor when they are looking for a good physician.
Comments about the ABMS Web site
Contact ABMS to ask questions or provide comments about our Web site.
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Products and Services
Frequency of database updates
The ABMS database is updated on a daily basis as we receive information from the member boards. Please note that the ABMS Member Boards may take up to 90 days to provide updated certification information to ABMS. This may impact the availability of new certification or recertification information in our database. ABMS makes its primary source data available in online services available from licensed partners. Information from these online services is accepted by The Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC and other accrediting organizations. Please contact our partners for additional information on their offerings:

Elsevier, publisher of Board Certified Docs
http://www.boardcertifieddocs.com/
800-523-1649 ext 3276
h.licensing@elsevier.com

TMP Medical Listings, publisher of CertiFACTS Online
http://www.certifacts.com
(800) 451-3017
ABMSleads@tmpdm.com
Purchase a list of Board Certified physicians by location and/or specialty
Please contact ABMS for information about this service by calling (312) 436-2600 select option 5, or e-mail products@abms.org.
Lists by custom criteria
ABMS does not offer this service. Our data is available through online services from our licensed partners. Both Primary Source Verification (PSV) and non-Primary Source (non-PSV) data is available. Reports from these products containing dates of certification are considered Primary Source and satisfy The Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC and other accrediting organizations' requirements. Please contact our partners for additional information on their offerings:

Elsevier, publisher of Board Certified Docs
http://www.boardcertifieddocs.com/
800-523-1649 ext 3276
h.licensing@elsevier.com

CertiFACTS Online
http://www.certifacts.org
(800) 773-2267
elorenz@ABMSsolutions.com
Proof of certification with dates
ABMS makes its primary source data available through online services available from licensed partners. Information from these online services is accepted by TJC, NCQA, URAC and other accrediting organizations. Please contact our partners for additional information on their offerings:

Elsevier, publisher of Board Certified Docs
http://www.boardcertifieddocs.com/
1-800-523-1649 ext 3276
h.licensing@elsevier.com

CertiFACTS Online
http://www.certifacts.org
(800) 773-2267
dcoursey@ABMSsolutions.com
Data match requests
ABMS does not provide this service. ABMS makes its primary source data available in online services available from licensed partners. Information from these online services is accepted by The Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC and other accrediting organizations. Please contact our partners for additional information on their offerings:

Elsevier, publisher of Board Certified Docs
http://www.boardcertifieddocs.com/
800-523-1649 ext 3276
h.licensing@elsevier.com

CertiFACTS Online
http://www.certifacts.org
(800) 773-2267
dcoursey@ABMSsolutions.com
Subscription based services
ABMS does not offer this service. Our data is available through online services from our licensed partners. Both Primary Source Verification (PSV) and non-Primary Source (non-PSV) data is available. Reports from these products containing dates of certification are considered Primary Source and satisfy The Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC and other accrediting organizations' requirements. Please contact our partners for additional information on their offerings:

Elsevier, publisher of Board Certified Docs
http://www.boardcertifieddocs.com/
800-523-1649 ext 3276
h.licensing@elsevier.com

CertiFACTS Online
http://www.certifacts.org
(800) 773-2267
dcoursey@ABMSsolutions.com
Ordering the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists
This four volume set is published yearly by Elsevier under license from ABMS. Click here for more information.
Additional searches needed on Web site search service
Please send your request to products@abms.org.
Verification Services for Adoption
ABMS is happy to provide the information about physician certification you need for conducting adoption home studies, placements and education. For assistance, please contact ABMS for information about this service by calling (312)436-2600, or e-mail products@abms.org.
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Public Display of MOC Information
I understand that ABMS has begun to display publicly whether physicians who are Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board(s) are meeting the requirements of the ABMS Maintenance of Certification® (ABMS MOC®) program established by their certifying Member Board(s). Where can this information be found?
This information became available on www.CertificationMatters.org on August 31, 2011. When you search for a physician in the “Find Out if Your Doctor is Board Certified” section (located on the home page) and then scroll to the bottom of the physician’s individual profile, the question of whether that physician is “meeting MOC requirements” of his or her certifying Member Board(s) will be answered with either a “Yes” or “No.”
Why is ABMS making physicians’ MOC status available?
The reason for making a physician’s MOC status available online is to continue to increase transparency by providing the public and other stakeholders easy access to information about whether a physician Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board(s) is meeting the requirements of the ABMS MOC program established by his or her certifying Member Board(s). The sharing of this information is in keeping with ABMS’ overall mission to provide information to the public, the government, the profession and its Members concerning issues involving the certification of physicians.
What does “meeting requirements” of an ABMS MOC program mean?
It means that a physician is choosing to meet the requirements of his or her certifying Member Board’s MOC program, as defined by that Member Board(s). When the 24 ABMS Member Boards adopted the standards outlined in the ABMS MOC program, they each launched an MOC program that was tailored to the needs of their medical specialty and subspecialties. This means that all 24 Member Boards’ MOC programs may be slightly different depending on the specialty. The physician’s certifying Member Board(s) determines whether he or she is “meeting requirements” of its MOC program.
Are those physicians who hold a lifetime certificate required to “meet MOC requirements”?
For some ABMS Member Boards, physicians who were Board Certified before those Member Boards established their MOC programs are not required to participate in the ABMS MOC program created by their Member Board(s). To obtain information regarding whether a specific physician is required to participate in his or her Member Board’s MOC program, please contact that Member Board(s) directly.
Are there other ways I can find out if my physician is “meeting MOC requirements” of his or her certifying Member Board(s)?
In addition to checking a physician’s individual profile on www.CertificationMatters.org, you can also call toll-free 1-866-ASK-ABMS (1-866-275-2267). In addition, you can call that physician’s certifying Member Board(s) directly for more information (click here for Member Board contact info).

Some ABMS Member Boards (e.g., the American Board of Pediatrics) report on their websites whether the physicians that they certify are meeting their MOC requirements.

On August 31, 2011, ABMS began to display publicly on www.CertificationMatters.org whether physicians are meeting MOC requirements. This is a process that will be rolled out during the next year, beginning with seven ABMS Member Boards. The remaining 17 ABMS Member Boards will make the MOC status of their Board Certified physicians available on www.CertificationMatters.org no later than August 2012. ABMS’ goal is to draw the public to www.CertificationMatters.org, which has valuable information about Board Certification and will eventually offer a one-stop way for the public to check the MOC status of a physician from any of the 24 Member Boards.
Why is the “meeting MOC requirements” information listed for some physicians but not for others?
Because the ABMS MOC program is still relatively new, the public display of MOC information is being rolled out. If a physician’s MOC status is not listed, it does not imply that the physician is not meeting the requirements of his or her certifying Member Board's MOC program. All 24 ABMS Member Boards will provide the MOC status of their Board Certified physicians no later than August 2012. Please be sure to check www.CertificationMatters.org regularly.

As of August 31, 2011, which ABMS Member Boards are displaying the MOC status of their Board Certified physicians? The MOC status is displayed for physicians Board Certified by the following Member Boards:
American Board of Dermatology American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Board of Family MedicineAmerican Board of Plastic Surgery
American Board of Nuclear MedicineAmerican Board of Surgery
American Board of Otolaryngology 

For those seven Member Boards that are participating in the rollout, this information will be especially useful to those considering seeing or being referred to a:
  • Family practitioner
  • Plastic surgeon and/or surgeon
  • Dermatologist
  • Nuclear medicine physician
  • Otolaryngologist/head and neck surgeon
  • Physical medicine and rehab physician
Other specialists will be added as the information becomes available by the Member Boards.
Which ABMS Member Boards will provide the MOC status of their Board Certified physicians no later than August 2012?
On or before August 2012, the MOC status will be displayed for physicians Board Certified by the following Member Boards:

American Board of Allergy and ImmunologyAmerican Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
American Board of AnesthesiologyAmerican Board of Pathology
American Board of Colon and Rectal SurgeryAmerican Board of Pediatrics
American Board of Emergency MedicineAmerican Board of Preventive Medicine
American Board of Internal MedicineAmerican Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
American Board of Medical GeneticsAmerican Board of Radiology
American Board of Neurological SurgeryAmerican Board of Thoracic Surgery
American Board of Obstetrics and GynecologyAmerican Board of Urology
American Board of Ophthalmology  

Please be sure to check www.CertificationMatters.org regularly for the most up-to-date information.
For those Member Boards participating in the rollout, what will the results show when a search is performed on a specific physician?
The results will show the name of the physician, list his or her certifying Member Board(s) and include a “Yes/No” response to the question of whether he or she is meeting the MOC requirements of his or her Member Board(s). It will also include a link to the website of the physician’s certifying Member Board(s). At the bottom of the physician’s profile, a disclaimer will note that, for some ABMS Member Boards, physicians who were Board Certified before those Member Boards established their MOC programs are not required to participate in the ABMS MOC program created by their Member Board(s). (NOTE: The disclaimer will not appear for physicians Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.) The disclaimer will link to contact information for the Member Boards to obtain information regarding whether the physician is required to participate in his or her Member Board’s MOC program.

What does it mean if a physician is listed as not “meeting MOC requirements”?
Board Certification is a voluntary process that assesses a physician’s competence in his or her specialty. To maintain their certification, physicians must participate in an ABMS MOC program, a rigorous process that continually assesses and enhances their medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism, clinical techniques and communication skills.

For some ABMS Member Boards, physicians who were Board Certified before those Member Boards established their MOC programs are not required to participate in the ABMS MOC program created by their Member Board(s). To obtain information regarding whether a specific physician is required to participate in his or her Member Board’s MOC program, please contact that Member Board(s) directly.
How will displaying a physician’s MOC status help patients find better care?
For more than 75 years, ABMS has been committed to providing patients with the highest quality health care by assisting its 24 Member Boards in developing and implementing professional standards for physicians. Board Certified physicians meet nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills to provide high quality care in a specific medical specialty. Board Certification goes above and beyond basic medical licensure. Physicians who are Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board(s) and participate in an ABMS MOC program(s) are voluntarily part of a rigorous process that continually assesses and enhances their medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism, clinical techniques and communication skills, which results in quality care for patients.
Is there information that supports the importance of the MOC program to the public?
There are studies that show that the public values its physicians’ participation in an MOC program. One recent example is a 2010 consumer survey commissioned by ABMS, where 95 percent of Americans said it’s important to them that their physicians participate in a program to maintain their Board Certification, with two-thirds (66 percent) saying it is “very important.” In addition, 84 percent of respondents would take some form of action if they found out their physician did not participate in an MOC program, out of which 45 percent would look for a new physician and 41 percent would stop referring their family and friends to that physician.
Who are the 24 Member Boards that make up ABMS?
The 24 Member Boards that comprise the ABMS Board Enterprise and certify more than 750,000 physicians include the: 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.
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Publication Ordering
ABMS Annual Report (or other ABMS publication)
You can order a free copy of the ABMS Annual Review or any of our other publications by using our online shopping cart.
Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists
This four volume set is published yearly by Elsevier under license from ABMS. Click here for more information
If none of these topics answered your question, click here.
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For Physicians
Requirements for Board Certification
Each ABMS Member Board has different requirements and it is best to contact the particular board directly. Click here for a list of contact information for each member board.
Exam dates
Exam dates vary by ABMS Member Board. Click here for a list of contact information for each member board.
Taking certification exam during residency
Each ABMS Member Board has different requirements. Most doctors begin the certification process at some point during their residency training. Check with the specific ABMS Member Board for requirement details.
How to obtain subspecialty certification
Each ABMS Member Board has different requirements and it is best to contact the particular board directly. Click here for a list of contact information for each member board.
Applying current certification from another country to ABMS Member Board Certification
Each ABMS Member Board has different requirements and it is best to contact the particular board directly. Click here for a list of contact information for each Member Board.
Requirements for certification for foreign trained students
To find out the requirements, contact the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates at (215) 386-5900 or visit their Web site at www.ecfmg.org.
Requirements for foreign students to attend a medical college or enter graduate medical training in the United States
Contact the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for information on United States medical schools. To learn about residency training, contact the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
Receiving a certificate following certification
The certificate is issued by the specialty board that administered the exam and you will need to contact that board. Click here for a list of contact information for each member board.
Replacing a lost certificate
To receive a replacment, contact the board that issued the original certificate. Click here for a list of contact information for each member board.
Obtaining copies of a certificate
To request a copy of the a certificate, contact the board that issued the original certificate. Click here for a list of contact information for each member board.
How physicians can make their personal information private in the database
If you wish to make your information private and have received an update form, there is a place to indicate your preference. If you have not received or do not have a form, contact us online.
Why a physician should elect to share his or her contact information
When a physician suppresses his or her information such as address and location, a patient will no longer be able to verify the physician’s certification when completing a physician search by location. In addition, when a physician limits his or her contact information, credentialers must go directly to the ABMS Member Board to gather information about a physician’s certification, elongating the process of verification. Suppressing contact information could potentially affect the efficiency of gaining acceptance into health plans and receiving privileges at hospitals. In addition, insurance reimbursements may be delayed, as it will take longer to verify certification. See the ABMS Data Use Policies to find out more about ABMS data use policy.
How to change personal information (name, address) in the ABMS database
Click here for information about changing your personal information.
When the ABMS database is updated
Though we update our database daily, it could take anywhere between 30 and 60 days from the time information is submitted to the time the changes are incorporated into the database. In the case of newly certified physicians, the information may not be available from our database for 90 days following a congratulatory letter from the specific ABMS Member Board. Information that is accessed through "Is Your Doctor Certified?" on the ABMS Web site is updated once a week. Information available through our licensed partners for professional use is updated more frequently.
Sharing a personal profile
Information from your profile is made available through our services and products of our designated licensees. If you request that your information be kept private, it will not be made available through any of these outlets, nor licensed to third parties.
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Research and Media
Statistical projections for specialties and subspecialties
Unfortunately, we do not have this type of information. Please visit the Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME) Web site.
Permission to reprint information from our publications
Please contact our Director of Marketing and Communications by calling (312) 436-2600.
Obtaining a quote from an ABMS spokesperson
Please contact our Director of Marketing and Communications by calling (312) 436-2600.
Where to find statistical information about ABMS Board Certification
ABMS Board Certification statistics are available by going to the shopping cart. You may download a free pdf file or order a printed copy for $6.00.
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Technical Support
How to log on and perform a search
Access the online search service in the Is Your Doctor Certified? section of this website. Enter your search criteria and click on the search button. If you are already logged in, you will see your results immediately. Otherwise, you will be asked to identify whether you are a returning or new user. You can either enter your email and password as a returning user, or create a new account. Once you have logged on to the site you will stay logged in for 90 days.

You may Search by any combination of search criteria. There are no required fields for searching, though the search must be performed by at least one criterion. The more information you are able to provide, the better your search results will be. Physician Search Results are provided as a list of names based on the criteria you provide, and will be limited to the first 200 records that match your criteria. A physician report is viewed by clicking on a specific physician’s name within the Physician Search Results list.
Why registration and log in is required
The search service on the ABMS website is a free public service offered to support the public's desire for safe, high-quality care. We use the log on and registration process to limit the number of searches a visitor can perform each day. This is done to eliminate abuse of this service by organizations that try to use it for commercial purposes.
Unable to log in or register
Our website has been tested using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or Netscape Version 7.2 or higher. Our website may be compatible with other versions of these browsers as well as other browsers; however, we cannot guarantee their compatibility. JavaScript and cookies must be enabled to allow full functionality of the website. Follow the instructions in your browser to enable cookies and javascript. If none of these methods work, please e-mail info@abms.org
Request to change password
The My Profile link is visible in the search panel when you are successfully logged into the Is Your Doctor Certified feature. It allows you to self-manage your user account information including email, password, and e-mail notification setting. Enter the new password in the field indicated (Password, Confirm Password) and click "Update Profile".
Request to change e-mail address
Registered users of Is Your Doctor Certified may update their e-mail address by logging into the service and clicking “My Profile”. Enter the new e-mail address in the field indicated (Email Address) and click “Update Profile”.
Online search did not return any results
There could be many reasons why a physician does not appear following a search. It could mean that
  • the doctor may not be certified by an ABMS Member Board,
  • the physician may not have an active certification from an ABMS Member Board
  • the profile may not be available because the physician requested that their information be kept private
First, check the spelling of the doctor's name and the location criteria as these are often common reasons for information not being returned. You can also check again at a later time in case the information was about to be updated. He or she could also be recently certified and we are awaiting information from the member board to add to our database. In the meantime, you could call the ABMS Member Board that you think he or she is certified with and they may be able to help you.
Unable to print reports
Is Your Doctor Certified is a consumer service and does not contain functionality to print pages in a “report” format, though the information may be printed using browser print commands. Professional users who require printable formatted reports for certification verification or other purposes may visit our product information pages. Please be aware that information obtained through the Is Your Doctor Certified section of this website is intended for personal consumer use only, and is not valid or authorized for use by professional organizations.
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About ABMS
Description of ABMS
ABMS is a not-for-profit organization comprising 24 medical specialty member boards. The primary function of ABMS is to assist its member boards in developing and implementing educational and professional standards to evaluate and certify physician specialists. ABMS also provides physician certification information for verfication purposes. Click here for more information
Description of ABMS Research and Education Foundation
The American Board of Medical Specialties Research and Education Foundation is a not-for profit charitable organization affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialties. Its mission is to support the scientific, scholarly and public education mission, purposes and goals of ABMS to improve health care quality. Click here for more information.
Approved Member Boards of ABMS
A list of the 24 ABMS Member Boards can be found by clicking here.
How new member boards are approved
New specialty boards are approved jointly by action of ABMS and the American Medical Association Council on Medical Education (AMA/CME) following a review by the Liaison Committee for Specialty Boards (LCSB). Boards must meet specific criteria regarding the methods and standards used to evaluate physician training, skills and competence for issuing certification.
Boards outside of ABMS
There are a number of non-ABMS, “self-designated” medical boards in the United States. Some have applied for ABMS membership and some have not. Applicant boards are reviewed and accepted jointly by ABMS and the American Medical Association Council on Medical Education (AMA/CME) after initial review by Liaison Committee for Specialty Boards (LCSB). ABMS monitors and takes action against any board claiming to be an ABMS Member Board and any individually wrongfully claiming to be Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board.
Osteopathic boards and ABMS
Osteopathic boards fall under the umbrell of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). For more information about osteopathic medicine, visit the American Osteopathic Association Web site.
Certification of podiatrists, dentists, oral surgeons or chiropractors and ABMS
Practitioners of these professions are not certified through ABMS Member Boards. Each of these professions has their own certifying bodies and you should locate these individuals through the appropriate professional organization.
Certification of cosmetic surgeons and ABMS
ABMS Member Boards do not certify cosmetic surgeons, though several boards evaluate and certify specialists as qualified to perform some types of plastic or aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery. Contact the ABMS Member Board directly to determine if its physicians are qualified in a specific procedure. Click here for a list of ABMS Member Boards contact information.
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About Physician Specialties
Definition of a physician (medical) specialist
A physician specialist, Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board is a licensed physician who focuses his or her practice in a particular area of medicine or patient care and may concentrate on certain body systems, specific age groups or complex scientific techniques to diagnose or treat particular medical conditions. For more information see About Physician Specialties
Education and training of physician specialists
Physicians attend an accredited medical school for four years which includes clinical and classroom learning. A period of residency training, generally five to seven years, follows. Physicians wishing to become certified in a subspecialty generally complete an additional one to three years of education and training. For more information see How a Physician Becomes Board Certified or contact the particular ABMS Member Board for specific requirements.
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About Board Certification
Description of “Board Certification”
Board certification through an ABMS Member Board means a physician has successfully completed the education, post-doctoral training and an examination process that ensures he or she posesses the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to provide quality patient care in that specialty. For more information, see About Board Certification .
Difference between a medical license and Board Certification
A medical license is legally required in order for a physician to treat patients and is issued by a state or territory where the doctor intends to practice medicine. Board certification granted by an ABMS Member Board is not a requirement to practice medicine, it represents a physician's commitment to become more knowledgeable about a specific area of medicine. Most hospitals and managed care organizations require that a certain percentage of their staff be Board Certified.
Specialty areas for physician certification
Physicians can become certified in more than 145 specialties and subspecialties through ABMS' 24 Member Boards. Click here for a list of the specialty and subspecialty certificates offered by the ABMS Member Boards. You can also view a description for each of these areas of medicine by going to About Physician Specialties.
Process for Board Certification
For initial certification, doctors are evaluated according to the standards set by the ABMS Member Board for education and residency training in their specialty and then must pass written and oral examinations. Click here for a description of the basic process. To maintain certification, ABMS and the ABMS Member Boards established a program of continuous professional development called Maintenance of Certification or MOC. Click here to learn more.
Description of “Board Certified diplomate”
A physician who has met all the requirements for Board Certification and has passed the certifying examination given by an ABMS Member Board is considered a diplomate of that board.
Description of “ABMS Maintenance of Certification®” or “ABMS MOC®”
ABMS Maintenance of Certification® or ABMS MOC® is a professional development program for Board Certified specialty physicians linked to maintaining certification. It involves continuous education, evaluation and improvement activities which allow physicians to demonstrate their understanding of current treatments and technologies and ability to apply them to provide quality patient care in a particular specialty.
Osteopathic physicians and ABMS Board Certification
Some doctors of osteopathy are certified by ABMS Member Boards. Other osteopathic physicians may choose to be certified by an ABMS Member Board AND an approved specialty board of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). For more information about osteopathic medicine visit the American Osteopathic Association Web site.
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Contact Information
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