Dear Colleagues,

A year ago today, The Joint Commission added NBPAS as a “Designated Equivalent Source Agency” to verify board certification.
Press Release

Despite this announcement we knew we had work to do to educate and inform hospitals that NBPAS meets national hospital accreditation standards, as well as payor standards (NCQA/URAC).  What happened after this announcement was not only surprising but deeply disappointing.

Over the past year, ABMS has disseminated a self-described toolkit, which they state was “created specifically to address questions, concerns and misconceptions surrounding NBPAS and what ABMS believes are its false inferences that an NBPAS certificate is equivalent to ABMS certification.”

To be clear, The Joint Commission granted the “Designated Equivalent Source Agency” designation, not NBPAS.  Furthermore, we founded NBPAS to be a different and improved pathway for lifelong learning.  NBPAS does not strive to be equivalent.  NBPAS strives to be better. NBPAS believes that ABMS is engaging in a substantial marketing effort aimed at stifling competition. Unfortunately, ABMS feels it necessary to spread highly misleading information in a manner that should not be tolerated by the medical, scientific, or policy making communities.

NBPAS was started to provide an alternative pathway to the costly, burdensome MOC and LKA programs that we believe have no convincing, non-conflicted, or widely agreed upon evidence that they improve patient care. NBPAS is now an accepted pathway for continuous board certification by a growing number of health plans and hospitals nationwide.  NBPAS provides a tangible, streamlined, and clinically relevant solution to burnout and the growing physician shortage through a pathway that is evidence-based and nationally recognized.  NBPAS currently certifies over 11,000 physicians at hundreds of institutions in all 50 states including hospitals, health systems, telemedicine companies, health plans, independent physician practices, and government institutions.

Medicine is evolving and we believe it should remain evidence-based and data-driven.  Competition drives innovation and we hope you will support NBPAS as we provide physicians with a valid and recognized pathway for continuous board certification.  Certify with NBPAS today and have your voice heard –


Paul's Signature

Paul S. Teirstein, M.D. 
President, NBPAS
Chief of Cardiology, Scripps Clinic
Medical Director, Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute

National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS): Key Facts

  • NBPAS believes that physicians have a responsibility to the public and their patients to adopt continuous lifelong learning, and to strive for the very highest levels of clinical and professional excellence.
  • NBPAS requires its physicians to adhere to a strict set of clinical and professional requirements that it believes are evidence-driven, specialty specific, less burdensome to physicians, and 72% less costly (on average) compared to other continuous certification pathways.
  • NBPAS agrees with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) that initial board certification, which involves years of specialized training, results in better doctors and superior patient care. NBPAS requires initial board certification without exception.
  • NBPAS agrees with ABMS and the data that validates the decline of medical knowledge with time away from formal training1,2,3,4 which is why NBPAS strictly prohibits grandfathering and requires the same standards for all physicians regardless of age or length of practice.
  • NBPAS disagrees with ABMS’s continuing certification requirements which are burdensome to physicians, cost tens of millions of dollars per year in direct and indirect costs and are yet still unproven based on widely-accepted, peer-reviewed evidence.
  • The largest ABMS board (ABIM) recently increased its annual maintenance fees to $340 per physician holding one sub-specialty. These fees will generate an additional $85 million annually if all 250,000 internists in the United States were to participate.  NBPAS believes that $85 million is a great deal of money for a program unsupported by Level A evidence.
  • NBPAS believes that physicians should choose specialty-specific continuing education that is best suited to their unique patient population, clinical practice needs, and professional objectives.
  • NBPAS believes that physicians are unfairly burdened with onerous, costly, unproven, and traditional board recertification requirements which contribute to burnout and a premature exit from the practice of medicine, worsening the physician shortage and further limiting patients’ access to the highest quality, equitable, physician-led care.
  • NBPAS meets national accreditation standards for hospitals and health plans. These include the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), The Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC), and Det Norske Veritas (DNV), and The Joint Commission which added NBPAS as a “Designated Equivalent Source Agency,” effective July 1, 2022.
  • NBPAS physicians are welcomed and respected at hospitals, health systems, telemedicine companies, and major health insurance companies including the largest behavioral health network in the United States serving over 40 million patients.
  • NBPAS offers physicians a choice in continuous board certification that is clinically relevant, physician-friendly, patient centered, and nationally accepted.


Choudhry NK, Fletcher RH, Soumerai SB. Systematic review: the relationship between clinical experience and quality of health care. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(4):260-273. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-142-4-200502150-00008.

Norcini JJ, Boulet JR, Opalek A, Dauphinee WD. Patients of doctors further from medical school graduation have poorer outcomes. Med Educ. 2017;51(5):480-489.

Marco, CA; Wahl, RP; House, HR; Goyal, DG; Keim, SM; Ma, OJ; Joldersma, KB; Johnston, MM: Harvey, AL. Physician Age and Performance on the American Board of Emergency Medicine ConCert Examination. Acad Emerg Med. 2018 Apr 2. doi: 10.1111/acem.13420.

Hawkins RE, Welcher CM, Stagg Elliott V, Pieters RS, Puscas L, Wick PH. Ensuring Competent Care by Senior Physicians. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2016;36(3):226-231. doi:10.1097/CEH.000000000000008