What Does it Mean to Have a Board-Certified Doctor?
posted by Abe Tomco, MD | June 10, 2016
• More likely to follow your treatment plan
• More inclined to try new drugs
• More willing to share important medical information
• More invested in using preventative measures such as regular wellness exams and health screenings
• Better able to control chronic problems like high blood sugar, hypertension and high cholesterol
One of the best ways to find a doctor worthy of your trust is to look for the Board Certification credential.
Following medical school, family practice doctors complete a three-year family practice residency in a Family Medicine residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This program includes rotations in inpatient and outpatient settings where doctors receive training in several major medical areas and patient populations. They are then qualified to take the American Board of Family Medicine MC-FP Examination for initial certification.
Some board-certified physicians choose to become certified in a particular subspecialty. This requires additional training. These areas include:
• Adolescent Medicine
• Geriatric Medicine
• Hospice and Palliative Medicine
• Pain Medicine
• Sleep Medicine
• Sports Medicine
Following medical school, family practice doctors complete a 3-year family practice residency in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Unlike earlier decades in which a physician passed a test just once early in his or her career and carried the “board-certified” designation for life, doctors working in today’s complex health care system are held to a much higher standard of accountability that requires ongoing retesting to retain the certificate.
“ABFM MC-FP is a requirement that the ABFM believes encourages clinical excellence and benefits both physicians and their patients.”
The Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC-FP) process provided by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) follows a process designed by The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) called Maintenance of Certification.
• Professionalism — Specialists must hold a valid, unrestricted medical license in the United States or Canada and continuous compliance with the ABFM Guidelines for Professionalism, Licensure and Personal Conduct.
• Self-assessment and lifelong learning — Physicians must participate in educational and self-assessment programs that meet specialty-specific standards set by member boards.
• Cognitive expertise — Through testing, physicians must demonstrate that they have the fundamental, practice-related knowledge to provide quality care in their specialty.
• Performance in practice — Physicians must demonstrate that they can assess the quality of care they provide compared with peers and national benchmarks, and then apply the best evidence or consensus recommendations to improve that care using follow-up assessments.
This process emphasizes the importance of ongoing participation in activities that evaluate each of these components between recertification examinations. Each certified physician must successfully complete a series of modules in separate three-year time periods to maintain his or her certification status and be listed as board-certified on the ABFM website.
When seeking a new family doctor to entrust with your family’s health, by confirming that your candidate is board- certified, you are ensuring your family receives the very best medical care in Utah.
Would you like to partner with a Board-Certified Family Physician who you can trust to support your family’s wellness through all cycles of life? Revere Health family medicine specialists offer compassionate, patient-centered care in a broad range of disciplines including internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and geriatrics.
Dr. Tomco is a board certified medical provider who earned his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and his medical degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed residency at St. Marks Family Medicine clinics. He enjoys all aspects of family medicine including pediatrics and adult medicine. He also has a special interest and training in wilderness and rural emergency medicine and has taught first aid and wilderness skills to the Boy Scouts.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.
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