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Board Certification

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503InternExam

Passing the intern exam is one of the first steps to becoming board certified

Board certification is the process by which a medical doctor demonstrates through written, practical, and/or simulator-based testing, a mastery of the basic knowledge and skills that define an area of medical specialization.

Medical specialty certification is a voluntary process. While medical licensure sets the minimum competency requirements to diagnose and treat patients, it is not specialty specific. Board certification demonstrates a doctor’s exceptional expertise in a particular specialty and/or sub-specialty of medical practice.

The American Board of Medical Specialties and its member boards are the certifying agencies for doctors to be certified once a doctor has completed a residency for a specialty or fellowship for a sub-specialty.

Member BoardsEdit

The following board organizations are members of the The American Board of Medical Specialties, the ruling non-profit organization of specialty-certification.

American Board of DermatologyEdit

The American Board of Dermatology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing dermatology. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must have completed or be in near-completion of a dermatology residency.

American Board of Neurological SurgeryEdit

The American Board of Neurological Surgery is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing neurosurgery. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must be board certified in general surgery and have completed or near-completion of a neurosurgical fellowship, or near-completion of a neurosurgical residency.

American Board of Obstetrics and GynecologyEdit

The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing obstetrics and gynecology. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of an OB/GYN residency.

Additionally, the board also certifies surgeons in OB/GYN sub-specialties who have already been board certified in OB/GYN and completed or be in near-completion of the corresponding fellowships:

American Board of Orthopedic SurgeryEdit

The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing orthopedic surgery. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of an orthopedic surgical residency.

Additionally, the board also certifies surgeons in orthopedic surgical sub-specialties who have already been board certified in orthopedic surgery and completed or be in near-completion of the corresponding fellowships:

American Board of OtolaryngologyEdit

The American Board of Otolaryngology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing otolaryngology. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of an ENT residency.

American Board of Pathology Edit

The American Board of Pathology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies physicians practicing pathology. To sit for the the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of a pathology residency.

American Board of PediatricsEdit

The American Board of Pediatrics is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies physicians practicing pediatrics. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of a pediatrics residency.

Additionally, the board also certifies physicians in pediatric sub-specialties who have already been board certified in pediatrics and completed or be in near-completion of the corresponding fellowships:

American Board of Plastic SurgeryEdit

The American Board of Plastic Surgery is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing plastic surgery. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must have completed or be in near-completion of a plastic surgical fellowship.

American Board of Psychiatry and NeurologyEdit

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies physicians practicing psychiatry or neurology.

  • Psychiatry board certification: to sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of a psychiatric residency.
  • Neurology board certification: to sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of a neurology residency.

American Board of SurgeryEdit

The American Board of Surgery is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing general surgery. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete or be in near-completion of a surgical residency.

Additionally, the board certifies surgeons in the following sub-specialties who have already been board certified in general surgery and completed or be in near-completion of the corresponding fellowships:

The American Board of Surgery also administers the Intern Exam for surgical interns.

American Board of Thoracic SurgeryEdit

The American Board of Thoracic Surgery is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing cardiothoracic surgery. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must already be board certified in general surgery and completed a cardiothoracic surgical fellowship or complete or be in near-completion of a cardiothoracic surgical residency.

American Board of UrologyEdit

The American Board of Urology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies surgeons practicing urology. To sit for the board exam, a doctor must complete an urology fellowship and to be board certified in general surgery or be in near-completion of a urological surgical residency.

Notable Board Certified DoctorsEdit

Grey's AnatomyEdit

Private PracticeEdit

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • Although neonatal surgery is not a specialty/sub-specialty of practice that can be board certified in the real-world, Addison by reputation and by dialogue is a board certified neonatal surgeon.
  • Board certification seems to be superseded by the most recent board certification and member board for a specialty/sub-specialty, i.e.:
    • Addison is "double-board certified" despite needing board certifications in general surgery and pediatric surgery to be board certified in neonatal surgery, and board certifications in OB/GYN and presumably maternal-fetal medicine, totaling to 5 board certifications; however, 3 of those certifications are certified by the American Board of Surgery and the latter certifications are certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. So a reference to being "double-board" certified is likely to her most recent certification in neonatal surgery by one member board, and her most recent certification in either OB/GYN or maternal-fetal medicine by another member board.
    • Mark also refers to himself as "double-boarded" as he holds board certifications in two separate boards: the American Board of Otolaryngology for practicing ENT and the American Board of Plastic Surgery for practicing plastic surgery.
    • Naomi Bennett holds board certifications in both OB/GYN and REI but has never been referred to as "double-board certified" most likely since both certifications are issued by the same member board, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Additionally, to become board certified in REI, a prerequisite is to be board certified in OB/GYN, so mentioning both, in terms of GA and PP, does not fit established criteria of being "double-board certified".
    • Double-board certified also are applied to doctors who practice both specialties concurrently (such as Addison, Mark, and Jake). As Burke mentions he did a CT fellowship, presumably a general surgery residency prior, he would have had to been board certified in general surgery to do those fellowships. As he does not practice general surgery, he has never been referred to as double-board certified, despite being issued by two separate member boards. It seems because cardiothoracics is sub-specialty of general surgery, the most recent board certification would take precedence.
    • This is also the case with Amelia as she did a surgical residency, followed by a neuro fellowship, however, presumably gaining a general surgery board certification to qualify for the fellowship, and she doesn't note herself to be "double-board certified" either.
  • Those doctors not specifically mentioned in dialogue as being board certified are confirmed to be board certified by their designations of FACS, FACOG, FAAP, etc. (as membership requires board certification) or by promotional material produced by Grey's Anatomy and/or Private Practice.
  • It was never stated that Jake is board-certified in REI, and there have been no conflicting information other than being board certified in OB/GYN to support this, so as it stands, Jake only completed a fellowship in REI, but not board certified for that specialty.
  • Meredith, Cristina, Alex, Jackson, April, and the rest of the residents in their class sat for the American Board of Surgery examination prior to completing their fifth year surgical residency.
  • Board examinations for 2012 took place in San Francisco, CA sometime before June. This is due to the fact when Meredith mentioned the next testing cycle would be June, Cristina thought it was June, an upcoming month, of the same year.
  • April Kepner failed her board certification in 2012, but re-took her certification in 2013 and passed.
  • According to the @GreysMedical twitter, Jackson Avery is double-board certified in plastics and ENT like Mark, later confirmed in show's dialogue.

See AlsoEdit

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