The Texas Medical Board ruled on Oct. 20 that physicians certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) could advertise themselves as board certified to the public.
The ABPS is the certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialties (AAPS). The ABPS sponsors 17 boards of certification, including the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM).
For a number of years, ABPS, in conjunction with AAPS, has been seeking recognition from various state medical boards, requesting that they allow physicians certified through an ABPS board to advertise themselves as board certified. The organizations were successful in Florida in 2002 but were recently rebuffed by the State of New York due to the lack of residency training as a qualification for ABPS board certification.
ACEP does not recognize BCEM as a certifying body in emergency medicine.
The Texas Medical Board ruling came as a surprise to the emergency medicine community, said Dr. Angela Gardner, ACEP president.
“We are very concerned that this ruling was done without the input of any of the organizations representing emergency medicine,” said Dr. Gardner. “Neither ACEP, AAEM, the Texas chapter, nor to our knowledge, any other medical specialty organizations were asked to submit written comments or testify at public hearings.”
After the ruling was announced, ACEP sent a letter to the Texas Medical Board asking for a clarification and requesting through the Texas Open Records Act, all documents, letters and communications relating to the ruling.
Once ACEP hears from the Texas Medical Board, a decision will be made on the next course of action. “We may ask for a public hearing, or the Texas Chapter may ask that this ruling be reconsidered,” said Dr. Gardner. “Important decisions that impact the physicians and patients in a particular state should be made with the input of those physicians and their specialties.”