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US board certification for IMG's without retraining: ABMS vs. ABPS

Discussion in 'Australasia and Oceania' started by jaketheory, 10.14.08.

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  1. jaketheory

    jaketheory Junior Member

    Sydney, NSW
    SDN 7+ Year Member

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    So i've always understood that IMG's with overseas specialty training pretty much had to retrain to be board certified in the US. For instance, looking into cardiology, i find that one must be board eligible in internal medicine to partake in a cardiology fellowship and that no overseas training can count towards the fellowship requirements. Further, to be board eligible in internal meds, one has to complete a US accredited internal medicine residency for which a max of one year of overseas training can be credited towards requirements. Thus, 5 of 6 years training towards cardiology must be completed in the US.

    However, I have come to find that there is more than one board for certification in internal medicine: the american board of medical specialties (ABMS) under auspices of the american medical association, along with the american board of physican specialties (ABPS) under the auspices of the american association of physican specialists.

    the ABPS website for internal med certification states it accepts all residency training programs, including those overseas accepted by the royal college of physicians and surgeons of canada (RCPS).

    i've heard some people on these forums bounce around that canada accepts australian specialty training. if this is true and includes the RCPS, this seems like a way into US board certification without repeating training.

    now, i'm pretty sure that the subspecialty boards of the ABMS will require internal med certification by the ABMS (ABIM), so this is may not be a way into subspecialty certification.

    can someone knowledgeable comment on board certification by ABMS vs. ABPS? does it matter which? will patients know the difference, so long as you can claim truthfully you are board certified? will the insurance companies stipulate you are certified by the ABMS to get paid? will hospitals care? will private practices care?

    all comments welcome?
  2. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

    Attending Physician
    Physician Faculty hSDN Member SDN 10+ Year Member
    The ABPS is NOT recognized as the real board and is considered a joke by most in the US medical field. Lower standards for certification as I understand it. In the state of NY, physicians certified by the ABPS are prohibited from advertising or calling themselves as "Board Certified" and the Department of Health in the state will not list them as such. There is apparently currently a lawsuit entered by the ABPS so we'll see what happens there.

    Does it make a difference to patients? No...they wouldn't have any idea. As for the others (insurance companies, hopspitals etc.), I have no idea (but interesting question).
  3. Dr.Millisevert

    Dr.Millisevert Senior Member

    SDN 7+ Year Member
    You should contact JoeNamaMD here on SDN as he may be able to provide you with more details. From what I understand... yes, Canada accepts pretty much all Australian/New Zealand specialty training programs.

    In the US it is a little less clear. However, some Boards do have reciprocal agreements with Australian/NZ specialty colleges.

    Example: If you are a Fellow of the Australian/New Zealand College of General Practitioners you will be considered "Board Eligible" by the American Board of Family Medicine. :thumbup:

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