ABMS Announces Certification in New Subspecialty:
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
CHICAGO - December 5, 2012 - The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announces the creation of physician certification in a new subspecialty: Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD). The ABMS Board of Directors and ABMS Reserved Powers Board approved the subspecialty at its September 2012 meeting. The subspecialty will be offered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and will create a pathway for certification for cardiologists previously certified by either the ABIM or the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) with the expectation that the certification exam will be available within the next three years. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) will be approached to develop accreditation standards for training programs very shortly.
“Children who suffer from Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease are now surviving into adulthood, with specialized medical needs that will be best met by trained specialists in Adult Congenital Heart Disease,” noted Eric Holmboe, MD, FACP, ABIM’s Chief Medical Officer. “This new subspecialty will enable patients to identify those clinicians with the competence and skill necessary to deliver quality care.”
The ACHD subspecialty will:
- Meet the needs of the growing population of adults with congenital heart disease by ensuring there are enough physicians with the appropriate training to care for them in a consistent and comprehensive manner that is in compliance with recently published guidelines.
- Enable adult congenital heart specialists to work in an environment that specializes in caring for this patient population and provides a mechanism for transition of care from adolescence to adulthood that would eliminate gaps in medical care.
- Develop well-defined training pathways for internal and pediatric medicine cardiology trainees through the ABIM and the ABP. These pathways would culminate in a final common examination and subspecialty certification available.
“The new subspecialty to treat Adult Congenital Heart Disease is an illustration of the advances pediatric cardiologists and surgeons have made in treating Congenital Heart Disease,” said American College of Cardiology President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC. “Congenital heart disease is our nation’s number one birth defect. With the tremendous advances in care over the past decades there are now more adults than children living with congenital heart disease and a growing need to ensure physicians are trained to meet the unique needs of these patients.”
More than one million adults in the United States live with congenital heart disease, nearly half of which require lifelong cardiac care, according to the Adult Congenital Heart Association. Currently, there are an estimated nine ACHD training programs in the United States. Estimates are that there are 500 to 600 certified ACHD cardiologists needed to serve patients and this will continue to grow with advances in care for the treatment of congenital heart disease.
“This new subspecialty will lead to an increased supply of physicians who are appropriately trained and qualified to provide care for these unique patients. As a result, the public will be better served by assuring that these adults can receive the same high quality care as are children suffering from congenital heart disease,” stated ABP President and CEO James A. Stockman lll, MD.
The addition of ACHD brings the number of specialty and subspecialty certificates to 160 offered through the 24 ABMS Member Boards. The ABMS oversees the certification of physician specialists in the United States. Nearly 800,000 doctors are Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board(s).
For more than 75 years, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has been the 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 health care credentialing accreditation entities as a primary equivalent source of Board Certification data for medical specialists. Patients can visit www.CertificationMatters.org or call toll-free (866) ASK-ABMS to see if their physician is Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board. For more information about ABMS, visit www.abms.org or call (312) 436-2600.
The 24 Member Boards that comprise the ABMS Board Enterprise and certify nearly 800,000 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.