Board certification means that the doctor has graduated from medical school and then spent three to seven years in a residency program. During a residency program, the doctor cares for patients under the supervision of experienced teaching specialists. Before becoming board certified, the doctor must pass a written examination and, in some cases, an oral exam. Some specialty boards require that a doctor be in practice full-time for about two years before taking the board certification exam.
Board certification is intended to let you know that the doctor has successfully completed an approved educational program and an evaluation in a given specialty. This process assesses the knowledge, experience and skills needed by the doctor to provide high quality patient care.
You can find out whether a doctor is board certified by checking with the American Board of Medical Specialties at www.certifieddoctor.org or by calling them at 1-800-776-2378.