BRADENTON, Florida. – In a survey commissioned by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), 95 percent of Americans say it’s important to them that their doctors participate in a program to maintain their Board Certification.
While some local medical groups mandate Board Certification, others do not.
“All of the 11 cardiologists on our team are required to complete and maintain Board Certification. This demonstrates we have met and continue to meet the qualifications to provide quality care,” says Alberto Montalvo, M.D., F.A.C.C., managing partner and cardiologist at Bradenton Cardiology Center.
Unlike medical licensure, Board Certification is a voluntary process. Physicians who achieve and maintain certification consistently demonstrate commitment and expertise that result in superior clinical outcomes.
According to ABMS, 13 percent of American physicians are not Board Certified.
What is a Board Certification?
To practice medicine in the United States, doctors must be licensed by the states in which they work. However, being licensed does not indicate whether a doctor is qualified to practice in a specific medical specialty.
Before a doctor can become Board Certified, each must complete four years of premedical education in a college or university, a course of study leading to an M.D. or D.O. degree from a qualified medical school, and three to five years of full-time experience in an accredited residency training program.
Each doctor earns initial Board Certification by passing a written and, in some cases, an oral examination created and administered by the Member Board in his or her specialty.
“What the public may not know is earning a Board Certification is only half the process, physicians must actively keep pace with the latest advances in their specialty to stay current on their certification,” Montalvo says. Dr. Montalvo is Board Certified in cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology.
Recent Regulation Changes
Effective starting this year, the ABMS established limits to the time that can elapse between a physician’s completion of residency training and achievement of Board Certification. The new policy establishes a window of no fewer than three years and no more than seven years between training and certification.
All the physicians at Bradenton Cardiology Center are certified.
“It varies by practice, but here at Bradenton Cardiology Center, each of our physicians is current on certifications so we can confidently offer patients the latest technology and treatment options,” Montalvo explains.
How can I find out if my doctor is Board Certified?
You can check whether any physician you are considering is Board Certified by reviewing the website of the American Board of Medical Specialties, the umbrella organization for the 24 individual specialty boards, at www.abms.org or by calling toll-free 866-ASK-ABMS.
Montalvo’s take is, “Unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise, it is hard to see why you would choose a physician who is not Board Certified.”
About Bradenton Cardiology Center:
Bradenton Cardiology Center is a full service heart center. Founded by Doctors George Thomas and Ballard Smith in 1984, the team of cardiologists has expertise in all areas of invasive and non-invasive cardiac testing and treatment. The center is a complete cardiac care facility. Bradenton Cardiology Center offers superior care in medicine while providing a personal, compassionate approach in patient care. Bradenton Cardiology Center is located on 316 Manatee Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida.