Details have not yet been released, but the American Board of Medical Specialties confirmed that it is preparing to launch as early as next year a five-year pilot program to establish a process for physicians to become board certified in hospital medicine.
“I think it's a linchpin for hospital medicine in terms of establishing credibility and recognition within the healthcare environment,” said Rusty Holman, chief operating officer for Brentwood, Tenn.-based Cogent Healthcare, whose roster of about 350 physicians provides hospitalist services for facilities in 20 states. He added that Cogent will be “encouraging and facilitating their inclusion in the pilot program.”
Hospitalists would first be certified as internists, and they would then seek certification in hospital medicine sometime before the 10-year period of their internal medicine certification expires.
Holman noted the unique factors that would be behind hospitalist certification. “Traditionally, established specialties in medicine are based on a specific training regimen and studies which represent the acquisition of unique knowledge and skills,” Holman explained. “Hospital medicine represents a departure from that paradigm. The foundation of board certification in hospital medicine is predicated upon accomplishment, knowledge and skills gained through practice.”