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Studies Indicate Board Certified Physicians Less Likely to Face Disciplinary Actions

Studies Indicate Board Certified Physicians Less Likely to Face Disciplinary Actions

Studies serve as follow-up to story on “dangerous doctors” in the Sun-Sentinel

CHICAGO – November 15, 2017 – In response to a recent Sun-Sentinel feature on “dangerous doctors,” the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a leading organization that oversees physician Board Certification in the United States, is sharing data to reassure Floridians about their Board Certified physicians.

Peer-reviewed studies indicate that Board Certified physicians are less likely to have been disciplined by state medical licensing boards than physicians who are not Board Certified. Additionally, studies suggest Board Certified physicians participating in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) — a process by which physicians are periodically tested to make certain they are up to date with medical advances and are actively improving the quality of their practice — show better adherence to practice guidelines, improved care processes, and lower cost of care.

Studies specifically indicate that:

  • Physicians certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine are five times less likely to have state medical licensure disciplinary actions than a non-certified physician.1
  • The majority of emergency physicians (more than 90 percent) who took their MOC exam reported that they either gained medical knowledge or reinforced knowledge they already had, making them better clinicians.2
  • Physicians who scored high on the MOC exam are approximately 17% more likely to adhere to guidelines of practice for their diabetic patients than physicians who scored low on the MOC exam.3

Based on these and numerous other studies, patients who live in Florida should feel assured in the safety and care provided by a Board Certified physician.


1Lipner RS, Young, A Chaudhry, H Duhigg, L Papadakis. Specialty Certification Status, Performance Ratings, and Disciplinary Actions of Internal Medicine Residents. Academic Medicine; 2016;91 (3)376-81.
2Marco CA, Wahl RP, Counselman FL, Heller BN, Harvey AL, Joldersma KB, et al. The American Board of Emergency Medicine ConCert Examination: Emergency physicians' perceptions of learning and career benefits. Acad Emerg Med 2016;23(9):1082-5.
3Holmboe ES, Wang Y, Meehan TP, Tate JP, Ho SY, Starkey KS, Lipner RS. Association between maintenance of certification examination scores and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. Archives of Internal Medicine 2008; 168(13):1396-403.

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