Sample letter

November XX, 2015


I am contacting the XYZ Hospital Medical Executive Committee to advocate for an alternative continuing board certification pathway. Please consider allowing continued board certification by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) to fulfill the XYZ Hospital board certification requirements.

There is controversy surrounding the requirements for continued certification in a medical specialty. Many physicians believe  the changes introduced  by the American Board of Medical Specialties requiring physicians regularly engage in various medical knowledge, practice-assessment, and patient-safety activities as well as recertification exams do not provide optimal use of physician’s time. Furthermore, no high quality data exist to justify these labor intensive and expensive activities. The NBPAS believes the following requirements provide the most appropriate metric for continued certification.

  • Candidates must have been previously certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties member board.
  • Candidates must have a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one US state. Candidates who only hold a license outside of the U.S. must provide evidence of an unrestricted license from a valid non-U.S. licensing body.
  • Candidates must have completed a minimum of 50 hours of continuing medical education (CME) within the past 24 months, provided by a recognized provider of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). CME must be related to one or more of the specialties in which the candidate is applying. Re-entry for physicians with lapsed certification requires 100 hours of CME with the past 24 months. Fellows-in-training are exempt.
  • For some specialties (ie interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, surgical specialties), candidates must have active privileges to practice that specialty in at least one US hospital licensed by a nationally recognized credentialing organization with deeming authority from CMS (ie Joint Commission, HFAP, DNV).
  • A candidate who has had their medical staff appointment/membership or clinical privileges in the specialty for which they are seeking certification involuntarily revoked and not reinstated, must have subsequently maintained medical staff appointment/membership or clinical privileges for at least 24 months in another US hospital licensed by a nationally recognized credentialing organization with deeming authority from CMS (ie Joint Commission, HFAP, DNV).

The value of Continuing Medical Education (CME) for life-long learning: Organizations providing recognized CME programs are regulated by a rigorous accreditation body (ACCME) requiring each CME offering provide an educational gap analysis, “needs assessment,” speaker conflict of interest, course evaluations and many other performance standards. CME can provide education in both established knowledge and also future directions that keep the physician on the “cutting edge.” CME offerings are highly competitive and provide choice. Therefore, using CME to fulfill life-long learning requirements provides efficiency and minimizes redundant activities

For a more complete discussion of the board certification controversy please use the link below to recent NEJM publications: Note, NBPAS offers certification in all ABMS specialties.



NBPAS Board Members:
The NBPAS Advisory Board Members are physicians who value patient care, research, and life long learning. Board members (all unpaid) believe continuous physician education is required for excellence in patient care.

Paul Teirstein, M.D., President NBPAS, Chief of Cardiology, Scripps Clinic
John Anderson, M.D., Past President, Medicine and Science, American Diabetes Association, Frist Clinic, Nashville, TN
David John Driscoll, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Daniel Einhorn, M.D., Immediate-Past President, American College of Endocrinology; Past President, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Bernard Gersh, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
C. Michael Gibson, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Paul G. Mathew, M.D., FAHS, Director of Continuing Medical Education, Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology
Jordan Metcalf, M.D., Professor and Research Director, Pulm. & Crit. Care,  Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center
J. Marc Pipas, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School
Jeffrey Popma, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Harry E. Sarles Jr., M.D., FACG, Immediate Past President for the American College of Gastroenterology
Hal Scherz, M.D., Chief of Urology- Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, Assoc Clinical Professor of Urology Emory University
Karen S. Sibert, M.D., Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Secretary, California Society of Anesthesiologists
Gregg W. Stone, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Eric Topol, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Scripps Health; Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute
Bonnie Weiner, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Mathew Williams, M.D., Chief, Division of Adult Cardiac Surgery, New York University Medical Center

List of hospitals where credentials committees, Medical Executive committee and/or hospital board have voted to accept NBPAS as an alternative to ABMS certification:*


  • Capital Region Medical Center – Jefferson City, MO (affiliated w/ of Missouri)
  • Shawnee Mission Medical Center – Kansas City, MO
  • Mendocino Coast District Hospital – Fort Bragg, CA
  • FloridaHospital Heartland Division – Sebring, FL
  • Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center/Texas Heart Institute – Houston, TX
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital, Sibley Memorial, Johns Hopkins Medical System, Washington, DC.
  • Southeast Missouri Hospital, Cape Girardeau, MO
  • ColumbiaBasinHospital, Ephrata, WA
  • Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, PA
  • St Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Hoag Hospital, Newport CA in process – MEC approval
  • Texas Health Presbyterian Rockwall, TX
  • Arkansas Heart Hospital, Little Rock, AR
  • Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, New London, CT
  • Providence Little Company of Mary, Torrance, CA
  • Holms Regional Medical Center, Melbourne, FL


*Note: Some of the above hospitals have changed their bylaws to allow alternatives to ABMS certification that include NBPAS without specifically naming NBPAS.

Please consider allowing continued board certification by the NBPAS to fulfill our hospital’s certification requirements.

Sincerely yours,