Verify Certification

An important part of ABMS’ ongoing mission is providing information about a physician’s board certification status. Whether choosing a physician for personal care or selecting a physician to be part of an organization’s professional staff, verifying board certification is an essential part of determining a physician’s expertise and experience in a particular area of medicine.  

ABMS maintains a database of information on more than 920,000 physicians. The information is recognized by The Joint Commission, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, URAC, and other agencies as satisfying for Primary Source Verification (PSV) as needed by professional organizations. It is refreshed daily with information from all 24 ABMS Member Boards. 

ABMS offers these ways for the public, hospitals, health care providers, health plans and other professional organizations to find out if a physician is board certified and is keeping their knowledge and skills current through continuing certification (MOC) activities.

Certification Matters Service for Patients and Families 

When you or a family member needs medical care, you want a highly qualified physician as your health care partner. By choosing a physician who is board certified by one of the ABMS Member Boards, you can be confident that he or she is skilled and knowledgeable, an expert in the specialty, and meets a higher standard developed by their peers. Use the Is My Doctor Certified? look up service through the Certification Matters site to check your physician’s board certification status. 

ABMS Solutions Products for Primary Source Verification 

Credentialing is the process of obtaining, verifying, and assessing the qualifications, background, and legitimacy of the licensure, education and training of physicians. It validates that a physician is qualified and competent to provide quality health care services. The way to ensure that the information received for credentialing is accurate is through Primary Source Verification or PSV. ABMS Solutions offers CertiFacts Online and other products for PSV as well as information to support credentialing professionals in checking physicians’ board certification quickly, conveniently, and securely.

Information about Board Eligibility, Focused Practice and Reverification

  • The ABMS board eligibility policies for specialty and subspecialty certification enable the ABMS Member Boards to set parameters for how candidates can use the term “board eligible” to signal their preparations for initial certification. See the Board Eligibility Periods and Transition Dates table[PDF] for the board eligibility periods and transition dates.
  • Focused practice designation enables the ABMS Member Boards to set standards for, assess, and acknowledge additional expertise that physicians gain through clinical experience, and may include formal training. To learn about the difference between subspecialty certification and focused practice designation, see the Differences Between Subspecialty Certification and Focused Practice Designation table[PDF]. See the Focused Practice Designations table[PDF] for a list of approved designations.
  • ABMS Member Boards that have eliminated certificate end dates recognize that some entities may still need a date to complete Primary Source Verification. To ensure accurate certification status, the Member Boards provide an annual reverification date. The physician certification status will only change once a year, unless a certificate is revoked for disciplinary reasons. ABMS recommends reverifying those physicians’ status on or after the reverification date listed in the End Dates and Reverification Dates table[PDF]. This table provides a summary of the ABMS Member Board time limited certificate end dates, duration time, and reverification date to help with the credentialing process.