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NCMB’s Licensee Information page and Board Certification

Article summary:
• NCMB’s position on Board Certification has evolved over time
• Boards not affiliated with ABMS, AOA or RCPSC may be included on the licensee information page if they meet NCMB criteria
• If you are unsure if your certification meets NCMB criteria, check with the certifying board

When choosing a doctor, patients are taught to look for Board Certification as evidence of a physician’s demonstrated expertise in his or her area of practice. The Board’s new Licensee Information Compliance program will include independent verification of information reported about Board Certification.

NCMB’s policy on what certifications may be listed on the licensee information page has evolved over the years. Certifying boards must meet criteria established by NCMB if the licensee wishes to list the certification on his or her page, or if the physician wants to refer to him- or herself as “Board Certified” in marketing materials.

Initially, the Board recognized only certifications conferred by boards affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In 2012, NCMB completed a comprehensive review of certifying bodies active in medicine, including several that are not affiliated with any Board-approved entity. The Board concluded that some certifying boards outside the ABMS, AOA and RCPSC systems maintain standards that are NCMB’s Licensee Information page and Board Certification sufficiently rigorous to merit recognition by NCMB.

The Board revised its position statement, “Advertising and Publicity” in 2012 to reflect the specific standards a certifying board must maintain in order to be recognized by NCMB.

The Board does not maintain a list of certifying boards that have been approved for use in advertising or inclusion on the licensee information page. If you are certified by a board that is not affiliated with ABMS, AOA or RCPSC and want to know if your board meets NCMB criteria, it is recommended that you review the criteria outlined in the Board position and check with the certifying board to make sure they meet or exceed them.

See what the public sees
Have you ever looked yourself up on NCMB’s website? It can be illuminating to see what visitors to your page find when they view your information.
    • Click on here: to Look up a licensee – Start Search on the blue bar the runs across the center of the Home Page
    • Enter your last name and first name in the search fields. This typically yields the best search results.
    • Click through the various information tabs to view your information.
    • If information is incorrect or incomplete, update your information as soon as possible (See Update your Licensee Information now)