How Do I Stay ABMS Board Certified?

Through continuing certification, you demonstrate a dedication to professional growth and excellence. The ABMS Member Boards’ continuing certification programs provide structure and rigor to those efforts, with activities for continuous professional development centered on patient care, practice enhancement, and lifelong learning.

Assessing the Core Competencies

The components of continuing certification evaluate one or more of the core competencies integral to the delivery of high-quality patient care co-developed by ABMS and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Competencies of a Practicing Specialist Components of Continuing Certification
  Professionalism Lifelong Learning Assessment Improvement
Patient Care  
Medical Knowledge    
Practice-based Learning & Improvement    
Interpersonal & Communication Skills    
Systems-based Practice    
Core CompetencyDescription
Patient CareCare that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective treatment for health problems and to promote health
Medical KnowledgeKnowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate sciences and their application in patient care
Practice-based Learning and ImprovementInvestigate and evaluate patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve practice
Interpersonal and Communication SkillsSkills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and professional associates
ProfessionalismCarrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to diverse patient populations
Systems-based PracticeAwareness of, and responsibility to, systems of health care. Available to call on system resources to provide optimal care

The Process of Continuing Certification

Each ABMS Member Board’s continuing certification program is developed by practicing physicians and specialists according to the standards set through ABMS. Activities and requirements must be met in the four main components. Contact your board to learn more.

ProfessionalismProfessionalism is a shared value across the ABMS Member Boards and foundational to all other requirements of continuing certification.

You can meet this requirement by adhering to your board’s principles of professionalism and by holding a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice medicine.
Lifelong LearningWith a combination of self-assessment, Continuing Medical Education (CME), and other practice relevant activities, this aspect of continuing certification helps keep you on track and learning throughout your career.

Check out the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory, for practice-relevant, accredited CME activities for certification.
AssessmentAssessment measures the knowledge that sets you, as a board certified practitioner, apart from non-physicians and other non-certified medical practitioners with less training and experience. It shows that you are up to date and aware of best practices in your specialty.

Fulfill the assessment component by:
  • Participating in a regular program (longitudinal/article based and customized to practice)
  • Meeting the performance standard on a continuous cycle set by your board
ImprovementDemonstrate that you can reflectively look at your practice and identify opportunities to improve care or the process of care delivery. Fulfill this component by designing an intervention for improvement, and then apply simple measures and timeframes to those improvements and document their impact.

The ABMS Portfolio Program provides a simple way to earn continuing certification credit for improvement work you are already doing.