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Seek Out Credentials Before Choosing a Physician - Is Your Cardiologist Board Certified in Cardiovascular Disease?
Date:7/2/2009

CHICAGO, July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent news reports have highlighted the importance of physician credentials and ensuring that physicians meet high standards in their chosen area of practice, according to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which coordinates and assists its 24 Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. Certification by an ABMS Member Board is considered the gold standard in physician certification in the health care industry.

ABMS recommends that consumers who are searching for a doctor select a board certified physician and confirm that he or she is certified by the appropriate ABMS specialty board - one that encompasses the training and evaluation for the specific treatment or procedure the patient needs.

"Patients should find out if their physician is board certified and then ask 'By what board and in what specialty,'" said Kevin B. Weiss, MD, president and CEO of ABMS. "For example, someone with heart disease who wants to be evaluated or treated by a cardiac specialist should first determine if the doctor is certified by an ABMS Member Board that certifies specialists in cardiovascular disease," Dr. Weiss explained.

Certification by one of the 24 Member Boards is a voluntary process above and beyond what is required to practice medicine, but it is looked to by hospitals, insurance companies and increasingly by patients as essential documentation of a doctor's training, competence and commitment to lifelong learning in a specific specialty. Board certification indicates that the doctor has:

  • Earned a medical degree (MD, DO or other approved credential approved by the Member Board)
  • Completed the accredited education and training
  • Fulfilled residency requirements
  • Been licens
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SOURCE American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
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