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63% of all US physicians are Board certified

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by oldman, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    I am reading a book about getting into residency. It listed that 63% of all US physicians are board certified, and 56% of primary care physicians have their boards.

    What exactly does it mean to be board certified? If only 63% are certified, are the remaining 37% non-practicing physicians? Or is being Board-certified an extra level of certification that is not required for practicing of medicine?
     
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  3. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator

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    Many insurance companies (HMOs) require doctors to be board certified. Same goes for hospitals...

    Also, being board certified is just another way of assuring the public that they're getting high quality care. Many well-educated people will seek medical care from a board certified physician.
     
  4. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by ThingAMaJig:
    <strong>Many insurance companies (HMOs) require doctors to be board certified. Same goes for hospitals...

    Also, being board certified is just another way of assuring the public that they're getting high quality care. Many well-educated people will seek medical care from a board certified physician.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Assuming that the number is correct and only 63% of physicians are board certified. What are the 37% doing? Are they unemployed? Retired?
     
  5. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator

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    The other 37% still practice, but obviously being board-certified makes it much easier for you to practice medicine. Here's an article that may give you some more insight. <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/prsa0605.htm" target="_blank">Article</a>
     
  6. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

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    The uncertified docs push abdominal devices on TV!

    <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />

    I wonder about those docs sometimes.
     
  7. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    I believe that the original poster does not understand the difference between board certified and licensed.

    A board certified physician has taken and passed his or her specialty boards. This has nothing to do with being legally permitted to practice, but could effect employment issues and being permitted to be part of IPAs or HMOs

    Licensure generally requires graduation from medical school, completion of one year of residency and the boards

    Ed
     
  8. Maran

    Maran Member

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    Once a doctor is licensed to practice, in most states they can practice almost any type of medicine that they feel comfortable with (considering malpractice insurance, professional ethics, ongoing requirments for retaining licensure, etc.) So, for example, an IM physician with some surgery experience might do some surgical procedures -- especially in an area where there are few surgeons or surgical facilities. But they wouldn't be board certified in surgery. In fact, they might not have bothered to sit for the boards in Internal Medicine (many military physicians don't see a need to sit for the boards.) Or they could be board certified in IM, but not general surgery.

    One common example even in metropolitan areas is doctors performing elective plastic surgery (like face-lifts) without BC in plastic surgery.

    However, as an educated consumer of health care services, if I am going to schedule any kind of procedure (even a routine office visit,) I'm going to confirm that the physician I see is board certified in the specialty area that covers that specific service/procedure. It's not a guarantee of a positive outcome -- no one can give you that -- but at least I can confirm that the physician has gone through significant specialty training in that area.

    FYI - Board Certification greatly improved your professional employement opportunities.
     
  9. WSU02

    WSU02 Member

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    You also have to remember that in some specialties, you cannot be board certified immediately after graduation. In my field, OB-Gyn, you need to wait a minimum of 2 years after residency before you take the specialty boards. So people newly out of residency will account for another fraction of those not certified. These doctors are board eligible (meaning they have graduated from residency and will be able to take the boards) but NOT board certified.

    Look at the want ads in any journal. They ask for BE/BC doctors.

    Kristi
     
  10. johnM

    johnM Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Maran:
    <strong>In fact, they might not have bothered to sit for the boards in Internal Medicine (many military physicians don't see a need to sit for the boards.) Or they could be board certified in IM, but not general surgery.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'm not too sure about this, but I think military physicians recieve an extra pay bonus for board certification.
     
  11. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by johnM:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Maran:
    <strong>In fact, they might not have bothered to sit for the boards in Internal Medicine (many military physicians don't see a need to sit for the boards.) Or they could be board certified in IM, but not general surgery.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'm not too sure about this, but I think military physicians recieve an extra pay bonus for board certification.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I can confirm this. I don't know how much it is, but I do know that its a pretty decent chunk of change. Its reason enough for me to get BC'd as soon as I can.
     
  12. Maran

    Maran Member

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    I'm glad to hear about the pay incentive for BC in the military. There is a degree of discrimination against military physicians when they leave the service and seak civilian employment, part of which has been due to lack of BC. Hopefully, more physicians will take this pro-active career step during their military service.
     
  13. NuMD97

    NuMD97 Senior Member

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    Unfortunately many highly educated people don't realize that there is a distinct difference in a physician who is board-certified from one who is not. It's most unfortunate that someone licensed can call himself a "cardiologist" even without the boards, just because he has been practicing internal medicine for years, and has a particular liking for the subspecialty. It's a real fallacy of the medical system that allows for this kind of thing to occur. And, frankly, dangerous, in my opinion. As a friend is currently facing major surgery, I am impressing on her the importance that a physician be trained and board certified in that particular subspecialty before she considers being operated by him/her. It literally can be a life or death decision.
     
  14. sz

    sz Senior Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the info, it was really helpful ... I've got a couple more questions of my own about BC.

    Does board certification require training outside of residency? Can it be attempted anytime after med school?

    Can physicians sit for multiple BC exams?
     
  15. WSU02

    WSU02 Member

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    Does board certification require training outside of residency? Can it be attempted anytime after med school?
    **************************
    BC requires residency. At least in OB/Gyn, it also requires 2 years of practice OUTSIDE of residency. Other fields probably have different requirements.

    Can physicians sit for multiple BC exams?
    ******************************************
    Yes, if they have completed the requirements for sitting for each individual exam. The best example is being doubly boarded in Medicine and Pediatrics, after going through a Med-Peds residency. Medicine actually has several of these double boards, if you care to go that route. Other examples include being boarded within a specialty AND a subspecialty. A third (and uncommon) way is to finish 2 residencies. ugh. Enough said.
    Kristi
     

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