Member Spotlight: The American Board of Medical Specialties


By: Kelly Garrity, Senior Director, Membership Services and Development

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is a national organization of 24 specialty medical boards that assesses the knowledge, skills, and judgment of physicians according to the standards of practice set by the profession, and grants board certification to those meeting and remaining current with the requirements.

ABMS’ mission is Higher Standards. Better Care., which is why it is a member of the NHC. ABMS builds relationships with physicians, medical educators, hospitals, and health systems, credentialing professionals, policymakers, and payers to encourage systemic improvements.

The board certification process was created more than 100 years ago in support of the public trust. Patients trust the medical profession to establish and maintain the standards of practice by which physicians are certified and assessed. By being board certified, physicians show they meet those standards and demonstrate that they have the specialized competencies to provide safe, quality, patient care.

Board certification has evolved in parallel with the advances in medicine and remains a rigorous, independent evaluation of a physician’s experience, knowledge, and skills. Today’s board certification programs support continuous assessment and professional development activities focused on professionalism, patient safety, and performance improvement.

ABMS has established guidelines to help the Member Boards pioneer effective new assessment and evaluation systems and select learning programs and improvement activities for physicians to learn the latest innovations in their specialty. This helps physicians become active participants in the evaluation of their own practices. Physicians can see how their practice compares to those of their peers, how it differs from published best practices, and how their own practice evolves over time, progressing toward the ideal practice.

For more information on ABMS, its Member Boards, and the importance of board certification please visit the ABMS website. For more information on becoming an NHC member, email me.