Everyone who works in the medical field knows that learning never stops. If you want to practice medicine, regardless of niche, you must keep preparing and learning about new technologies, methods, drugs, and more.
However, it’s not just about the way the world of medicine evolves. It’s also about the various steps one needs to take once they finally manage to graduate medical school. The path usually requires an internship, residency, and pass a general exam in order to become licensed practitioners.
Even more, some professionals decide to become Board Certified, which requires further study and training. But why do some doctors choose this path and what does it actually mean for patients?
Licensed vs Board Certified Professionals
A licensed medical practitioner is recognized by the state in which he/she wants to practice as someone who meets the minimal training and competency requirements to practice medicine. The license gives them the right to practice, but it’s not a special mark that speaks of stellar achievements.
On the other hand, a Board Certification means the medic is recognized as a high-level specialist by a board of their peers, such as the American Board of Internal Medicine (or ABIM). In addition, this title showcases the effort and hours invested in becoming an expert in a specialty or subspecialty field.
To become board certified, a medic needs to pass a difficult and complex test to prove their knowledge and experience. Each test is reviewed by peers and consists of several steps, each more rigorous than the other.
So, if you’re currently looking to level up in your medical career, and get a board certification in internal medicine, you must start the preparation as soon as possible. Besides the standard resources, you will also need access to internal medicine board review courses, specialists in your field, and more.
Is Board Certification Worth the Effort?
After going through medical school, internships, residency, and more it’s only natural to be apprehensive about even more study and complex tests. However, the current climate is more or less designed to push doctors towards a certification in their field of interest.
For instance, many hospital systems will require doctors interested in practicing within their turf to be board certified. Also, certain health plans and payers may change reimbursement of professional fees based on board certification.
Even more, the broad access to all sorts of information made patients savvier when it comes to choosing a health professional. This usually means they will rather choose a board-certified professional that’s a bit more expensive than stay with a licensed one.
As a result, many doctors feel pressured into taking this path even though they already have a practice and active patients.
In conclusion, medical professionals who are not board-certified should consider taking this step in their careers. It’s also a way to keep up with demand, especially in a world post-COVID-19, where the focus on healthcare and good practices is stronger.