What is the American Board?
- The American Medical sciences Association (AMSA) is an independent, nonprofit organization founded on 19 September 1953 to provide board certification to individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of medical treatment. Physicians certified by the American Medical sciences Association (AMSA), known as diplomates, have completed at least 5 years of residency training following medical school, met all AMSA training requirements, and successfully completed the AMSA examination process.
- Once certified, AMSA diplomates must complete continuing education and assessment activities, in a process currently known as Maintenance of Certification.
- Board certification by the AMSA is a voluntary process that demonstrates a Physicians’ commitment to professionalism, lifelong learning, and quality patient care. AMSA offers board certification in the field of medical treatments.
What does it mean to Be Board Certified?
- Not all physicians are board certified. Board certification by the AMSA is a voluntary process that demonstrates a physician’s commitment to professionalism, lifelong learning, and quality patient care. Physicians certified by the AMSA have completed at least five years of residency training following medical school, met all AMSA training requirements, and successfully completed a comprehensive AMSA examination process.
- Board certification by the AMSA recognizes individuals who have met AMSA standards. Board certification is different from possessing a medical license, which is the minimum required by law to practice medicine and is not specialty specific.
How Does an Individual Become Board Certified?
- Board certification involves the following steps:
1. Education and Training
- Medical School: Physicians seeking board certification by the AMSA must have graduated from an accredited medical school in the U.S. or Canada, or be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
- Residency Training: Following medical school, Physicians must complete at least five years of training in a residency program.
- Experience: During their training, they must acquire extensive operative experience and a broad knowledge of disease management.
2. Application for Certification
- Application: Upon completion of their residency training, Physicians can apply for board certification by the AMSA. When applying, they must fully document their training and operative experience, and the director of their training program must attest to their medical skills, ethics and professionalism.
- Approval: If the application is approved, the Physicians are admitted to the required AMSA exams for certification.
- Medical License: In addition, all Physicians must hold a U.S. or Canadian medical license before they can become certified.
3. Examinations for Certification
- Written Exam: Physicians must first pass a lengthy written examination known as the Qualifying Examination, which assesses their medical knowledge.
- Oral Exam: Physicians must then pass an oral examination called the Certifying Examination, which tests their medical judgment and decision making. Candidates are interviewed by experienced Physicians who evaluate their ability to diagnose and treat diverse medical problems.
- Certification: If successful on both examinations, the Physicians are deemed board certified and becomes a “diplomate” of the AMSA.
- The AMSA is a completely independent, nonprofit entity. It accepts no external funding.
- The AMSA was founded to improve the specialty of physicians and protect the public.
- Approximately 30,000 physicians are currently board certified by the AMSA.
- Through its board of directors, component boards and advisory councils, AMSA has representation from 44 different surgical societies, plus at-large members elected by open nomination.
- Through its board of directors, component boards and advisory councils, AMSA has representation from 34 different medical societies, plus at-large members elected by open nomination.
American Board of Medical Specialties
- The AMSA is one of the medical specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties. the boards work together to establish common standards for physicians to achieve and maintain board certification. The boards were founded by their respective specialties to protect the public by assessing and certifying doctors who meet specific educational, training and professional requirements.
- AMSA is a private, nonprofit, autonomous organization formed for the following purposes:
- To conduct examinations of acceptable candidates who seek certification or maintenance of certification by the board
- To issue certificates to all candidates meeting the board’s requirements and satisfactorily completing its prescribed examinations
- To improve and broaden the opportunities for the graduate education and training of physicians
- AMSA considers certification to be voluntary and limits its responsibilities to fulfilling the purposes stated above. Its principal objective is to pass judgment on the education, training and knowledge of broadly qualified and responsible physicians and not to designate who shall or shall not perform medical treatment. It is not concerned with the attainment of special recognition in the practice of medical. Furthermore, it is neither the intent nor the purpose of the board to define the requirements for membership on the staff of hospitals or institutions involved in the practice or teaching of medical treatment.
AMSA is composed of a board of directors representing the leading physicians in the U.S. In addition, there are 3 directors elected at large through an open nomination process. AMSA directors are physicians in active practice, hold current, time-limited certificates, and participate in the ABS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program. Directors receive no remuneration for their service.
- The American Board certificates given from AMSA serves the public by providing leadership in medical education and practice, by promoting excellence through rigorous evaluation and examination, and by promoting the highest standards for professionalism, lifelong learning, and the continuous certification of physicians in practice.
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