The North Carolina legislature is considering a bill (21 NCAC 32Y .0101) that would allow doctors to advertise that they are board certified only if they are certified by well-recognized and well-established board certifying organizations. It’s a shame the legislature has to do this. The idea that a physician would try to mislead the public into thinking that he or she has board certification credentials in an area where he or she doesn’t have board certification is repugnant.
This is not to say that doctors in one specialty can’t perform procedures or provide care normally provided by doctors in a different specialty. As long as the doctor is well- trained to do a particular procedure, they should be permitted to do so. But board certification is an important means to assure the public of a physician’s credentials. Diluting that means by claiming “board certification” from some lesser organization is not in the public’s interest.
If you want to know if a physician is certified by one of the major boards, consider visiting your state medical board Web site or the Web site for the American Board of Medical Specialties: www.ABMS.org.