Check out that doctor!
ATLANTA, July 29 /PRNewswire/ via Individual Inc. --
Patients can now go online to check on a doctor's board
certification status or seek out a certified specialist in their
area. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has launched
the CertifiedDoctor web site at
This new site is the first free online service offered by the
ABMS to aid the public in one of the most important decisions they
can make today: choosing a doctor.
The ABMS's new web site allows consumer access to two important
services. One service verifies any individual physician's board
certification status in the 25 recognized medical specialties and
over 75 subspecialties. The other service allows one to search for
board-certified physicians within a specific specialty and
geographic area. The site provides healthcare consumers a free and
reliable information source in today's maze of misleading and often
confusing data. The only one of its kind on the Internet, the
CertifiedDoctor web site is the most comprehensive online database
of U.S. physicians, listing only those who are board certified and
identifying the specific certification(s) held by each. In
addition, a physician's address, phone number, hospital and health
plan affiliations can be obtained, as well as links to physicians'
This new site is another phase in the ABMS's ongoing public
education program. One of the goals of this program is to increase
public awareness and education of board certification. The ABMS
additionally operates a toll-free number (1-800-776-CERT), which
provides verification and lists of board certified physicians in
each community. The 800-number currently receives over 300,000
annual inquiries from concerned consumers.
"Our goal with the public education program has always been to
assist the consumer in identifying specialists in their community
certified by the Member Boards of ABMS. Through the CertifiedDoctor
web site, we can now provide the public a faster and easier way to
access reliable information about a physician's specialty and
subspecialty certifications," said Dr. J. Lee Dockery, Executive
Vice President of the ABMS.
Many consumers are unaware that over 200 self-designated medical
boards exist today, many of which require only an annual membership
fee and little or no testing. To become board certified in a
medical specialty recognized by the ABMS, physicians must
voluntarily complete an additional three to seven years of
accredited residency training after medical school and pass
rigorous oral and written exams. Most specialties require periodic
certification renewal through continued education and exams.
"It's a little known fact that doctors, upon completion of
medical school, are legally allowed to practice most specialties
without any further education or training in that specialty field,"
says Michael Cutter, representative of the ABMS. "Additionally,
many doctors are guilty of advertising using misleading
'board-certified' credentials and affiliating themselves with one
of these self-designated specialty 'boards'."
Created in 1933 as the advisory board for medical specialties,
the ABMS is the umbrella organization over 24 member boards of
specialty certification that are also recognized by the American
SOURCE American Board of Medical Specialties
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