ABMS Releases 2017-2018 Board Certification Report

On October 8, 2018

CHICAGO – October 8, 2018 – More than 880,000 physicians in the United States are board certified; California, New York, and Texas are the states with the largest number of active physician certificates; and Neurological Care is the newest approved subspecialty certification. These are just a sampling of facts and statistics found in the latest ABMS Board Certification Report released by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

The 2017–2018 ABMS Board Certification Report offers a wide variety of statistics and information about the specialty certification programs administered by the 24 Member Boards that comprise ABMS. For 45 years, this report illustrates the continued importance of board certification as a public credential. It also shows the growing population of physicians who believe in board certification as a way to demonstrate their specialty expertise and continued commitment to provide safe, quality patient care.

The report features a comprehensive listing of the specialty and subspecialty certificates approved for issue by the 24 certifying boards and the basic requirements physicians must meet for initial certification and continuing certification. Additionally, it includes database statistics and tables demonstrating trends in the number of specialty and subspecialty certificates issued from 2008 to 2017. It also includes a snapshot of the active certificates held by ABMS Member Board certified physicians by state.

Other highlights include:

  • In 2017, there were 32,377 new specialty certificates and 11,983 new subspecialty certificates issued.
  • Also in 2017, the first exam was given in Addiction Medicine.
  • Focused Practice designations, which recognize additional areas of expertise related to health conditions, specialized procedures, or patient populations, are now available from the Member Boards of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pathology.
  • Infographics of the ongoing enhancements to certification programming.

Published annually by ABMS, the report can be downloaded from the ABMS website (abms.org) for free. Infographics highlighting the board certification process, professional development, practice areas, and physician characteristics, as well as a video featuring highlights from the report, are also available on the ABMS website.


About ABMS

Established in 1933, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) continues to be the leading not-for-profit organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. ABMS establishes the standards its 24 Member Boards use to develop and implement educational and professional evaluation, assessment, and certification of physician specialists, helping to improve the quality of care to the patients, families and communities we serve. More than 880,000 physicians are certified in one or more of the approved 40 specialties and 85 subspecialties offered by the ABMS Member Boards. For more information about ABMS, visit abms.org or call (312) 436-2600.

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