Physician's who used to use the term "board eligible" to indicate that they were not yet board certified will now face sanctions and be considered in breach of ethical standards of medical practice if they fail to become board certified within the new policy guidelines set by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). This according to the May 31, 2012 article in MedPage Today by Todd Neale.
The ABMS which is made up of 24 member boards, including the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Urology, has set a new policy for all but 2 of the 24 member boards. The new policy will require physicians to become board certified within 5 to 7 years; some boards will also require at least 1 year in practice as well. For example, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Plastic Surgery have set a board eligibility period of 7 years, and an additional 1 year in practice. The American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery have not yet established a deadline to become certified.
The new ABMS policy was enacted because the board determined that allowing physicians to state they were board eligible would reduce the status of those doctors who have achieved board certification.
The new policy began January 1, 2012 and those physicians that have not yet become certified will have to become certified no later than January 1, 2019 or earlier. There are certain exclusions, such as for those who have been deployed in the military or with an acute illness.
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