The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) is an organization set up to create a standard of care, which its members continually look to develop within their chosen field. Board-certified pediatricians have undergone extensive training and have decided to take it to the next level by specializing in a particular area of pediatrics.
The expectations of board-certified pediatricians go far beyond local state government licensing requirements and involve a continuous commitment to improving the existing standards of pediatric care. As such, the qualification is wholly voluntary, and not all doctors decide to take it.
Choosing a pediatrician is a big decision for you and your child, so you want to find one you are sure is going to offer the highest standard of care, utilizing the most up-to-date developments in the field of pediatrics.
What makes a board-certified pediatrician different from other doctors who treat children?
Once a doctor has passed medical school, completed a three-year residency, and met all the necessary obligations of the state licensing board, they are legally able to treat children. The fundamental difference at this stage is that board-certified pediatricians must have passed the ABP examination. Without it, they can’t call themselves board-certified.
After this, to remain board-certified, the doctors must commit to ongoing professional development within their field and take an additional exam every ten years.
How does this benefit my child?
For parents looking for a new pediatrician, the first benefit is that it is possible to verify the pediatrician’s credentials before deciding to put your child in their care. Knowing that the pediatrician is board-certified offers assurances that your child will be in the best possible hands.
Board-certified pediatricians are committed to continually improving their practice and must continuously demonstrate this. The commitment to ongoing learning and its application means your child will have access to the latest in treatment methods.
For you and your child, this will mean the doctor will be looking for ways to make every visit to the clinic as painless as possible by developing best practice and trusting relationships.
The APB ensures that all members can demonstrate best practice in the following competencies:
- Medical knowledge
- Patient care
- Communication skills
- Practice improvement
- Knowledge of the medical system
This is done through the initial qualification period and is monitored in five-year cycles through the APB’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC). So when you see the certificate on their wall or on their website, it can give you extra peace of mind that your child is in the best possible hands.
Being board-certified means your physician is part of a think tank that spreads across the country. These specialists regularly contribute to the body of knowledge within the field.
Also, as part of a large body, your doctor will know of a specialist in other fields if they are unable to meet a specific need. This collaboration means your child will have quick access to a team of physicians specializing in all areas of pediatrics
Need to know more
If you still have questions, the ABP’s website has lots of useful information or feel free to give us a call.