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How does board certification affect my doctor's credentials?

Board certification is the gold standard in assuring that a physician is an expert in a specialty or sub-specialty. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the medical organization that oversees physician certification by developing standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. 

To be board certified, a doctor must complete a residency in his specific specialty (post medical school training) that has been recognized by ABMS, followed by rigorous written and oral examinations. If some one wants to sub-specialize, they must then do fellowship training after their residency.
Doctors who are board certified have demonstrated that they have exceeded the requirements for state licensure in their given field. This involves years of training beyond medical school. In addition, board certified doctors have generally passed a rigorous exam. Many specialty boards require their doctors to retake the test every now and then to demonstrate continued competency.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.