The mission of the certifying Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is to serve the public by improving the quality of medical practice through a certification and maintenance of certification process that fosters excellence and encourages continual learning. The ABO is one of 24 certifying Boards.
Board certification intends to provide assurance to the public and the medical profession that a physician has successfully completed an evaluation designed to assess the knowledge, experience and skills requisite to the delivery of high standards of patient care.
Every 10 years beyond the original "Boards" that we take, we must now undergo Board Re-Certification. I have been Board Re-Certified two times beyond original certification during my 20 years of practice – this involves continuing education (attending and speaking at meetings nationally), patient chart reviews, and a written comprehensive exam. My most recent Re-Certification of my Boards was 2012. Older physicians may be grandfathered and never have to go through this process once they are originally Board Certified when they finish their training.
This is one more factor to consider when evaluating and choosing your doctor.