Board-Certification: Why it matters when choosing a doctor

When you’re looking for a new doctor, are you paying attention to whether or not that doctor is board-certified? Most experts say you should be and here’s why.

What does it mean to be board certified?

To become a doctor, a bachelor’s degree must first be obtained. Once a bachelor’s degree is received, medical school is next, which takes about 4 years to complete. After medical school, residency training is needed which takes another 3-7 years. At this point, a doctor is free to start practicing medicine.

A board-certification goes beyond medical school and requires continuous training throughout a doctor’s career. Doctors who are board-certified must meet the minimum requirements to practice medicine and be approved by the state’s official medical board. In addition, board-certified doctors must meet other training requirements, complete a thorough application process and also pass standardized examinations.

A board-certification signifies that a doctor is specialized in their field and is continuously learning and training. Board-certified physicians are required to renew their certification every couple of years.

Are most doctors board-certified?

Not all doctors are board-certified in their specialties, although many are as it allows them to obtain rights at most hospitals. It is also necessary for credentialing by insurers and most practices look for doctors with board-certification when it comes to hiring.

With an abundance of information available to Americans, many are more educated when it comes to their healthcare and choosing a doctor, making it imperative for doctors to obtain this additional level of training. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) estimated in 2017 that over 80% of doctors are certified by one of the 24 member boards.

How do I know if my doctor is board-certified?

If you aren’t sure whether a particular doctor is board-certified or not, the ABMS has a resource available which you can view here.  Just enter your doctors first and last name or enter a specialty.

Dr. Seth Forman is board-certified in both dermatology and dermatopathology. His team of primary care doctors, rheumatologists and dermatologists are also board-certified in their specialties.

To learn more or to book your in-person or virtual appointment, call us today at (813) 960-2400.