CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announces the creation of physician certification in two new subspecialties: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Epilepsy. The ABMS Board of Directors and Assembly Representatives approved the two subspecialties at its September 22-23 meetings. EMS will be administered by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) and Epilepsy by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).
The addition of EMS and Epilepsy brings the number of specialty and subspecialty certificates to 149 offered through the 24 ABMS Member Boards. Physicians interested in being certified in these emerging fields must have received primary certification by one of the Member Boards.
“Medicine continues to evolve, resulting in the creation of new subspecialties designed to enhance patient care,” said Kevin B. Weiss, MD, president and CEO of ABMS. “Patients can be assured that physicians who are certified in these new subspecialties are qualified to provide quality care.”
To earn and maintain their certification in the two new subspecialties, physicians must commit to participation in the ABMS Maintenance of Certification® (ABMS MOC®) program created by ABMS and its 24 Member Boards to promote lifelong learning and self assessment for physician specialists.
The EMS subspecialty was developed to standardize physician training and qualifications for the delivery of medical care in the pre-hospital setting. EMS care includes the initial patient treatment and transportation in specially equipped ambulances and medical helicopters. The initial care for conditions such as heart attack or stroke may occur in patient homes, public places and wilderness settings. These medical specialists perform life-saving procedures outside the hospital setting, sometimes when people are still trapped in cars or buildings.
“The certification of EMS physicians will accelerate improvements in the care of the acutely ill and injured patient while being stabilized on the scene and transported to the hospital,” said Mark T. Steele, MD, president of ABEM. “The impact of the early provision of initial care will increasingly save lives and improve health care delivery.”
Physicians who receive subspecialty certification in epilepsy must be knowledgeable of the pathophysiology, genetics, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of seizure disorders at a level that is significantly beyond the training and knowledge received by a general or child neurologist. About 3 million Americans live with epilepsy. Physicians trained and certified in epilepsy are qualified to provide the latest treatment options, including medications, surgery, vagus nerve stimulation, investigational electronic devices and ketogenic diet.
“There is evidence that lack of expertise has led to suboptimal care for people with epilepsy, including the use of inferior drugs,” said Larry R. Faulkner, MD, president and CEO of ABPN. “Patients who receive care from Board Certified neurologists with a subspecialty in epilepsy care will be more effectively treated through the use of contemporary antiepileptic drugs and surgery, which has been shown to significantly improve quality of life and reduce disease burden.”
For more than 75 years, American Board of Medical Specialties has been the medical organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. It assists its 24 Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. ABMS Member Boards provide physician certification information to ABMS for its certification verification service programs. ABMS is recognized by the key health care credentialing accreditation entities as a primary equivalent source of board certification data for medical specialists. Patients can visit www.abms.org or call toll-free 1-866-ASK-ABMS to see if their physician is board certified by an ABMS Member Board. For more information about ABMS visit www.abms.org or call (312) 436-2600.
The 24 Member Boards that make up the ABMS Board Enterprise covers over 145 medical specialties and subspecialties include: American Board of Allergy and Immunology, American Board of Anesthesiology, American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Genetics, American Board of Neurological Surgery, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Pathology, American Board of Pediatrics American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Preventive Medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Radiology, American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and American Board of Urology.
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