To enhance the quality of health care by certifying internists and subspecialists who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for excellent patient care.

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About ABIM

Certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)

Since its founding in 1936 to answer a public call to establish more uniform standards for physicians, Certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 20 subspecialties. Certification has meant that internists have demonstrated – to their peers and to the public – that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care. ABIM is not a membership society, but a physician-led non-profit, independent evaluation organization. Our accountability is both to the profession of medicine and to the public.

Quick facts about ABIM Certification

  • ABIM certifies approximately one out of every four physicians in the United States.*
  • There are more than 200,000 ABIM Board Certified physicians.
  • The subspecialties of Internal Medicine include:

Adolescent Medicine
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology
Cardiovascular Disease
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Critical Care Medicine
Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Geriatric Medicine
Hospice & Palliative Medicine
Infectious Disease
Interventional Cardiology
Medical Oncology
Pulmonary Disease
Sleep Medicine
Sports Medicine
Transplant Hepatology

ABIM also offers Internal Medicine with a Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine Maintenance of Certification program. While not a subspecialty, it is a variation of Internal Medicine certification.

Research suggests board certification is associated with better care. For details on this study and others on the importance of Certification and Maintenance of Certification, see our Fact Sheets.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)

ABIM is one of 24 medical specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Through ABMS, the boards work together to establish common standards for physicians to achieve and maintain board certification. The boards were founded by their respective specialties to protect the public by assessing and certifying doctors who meet specific educational, training and professional requirements. ABMS is an independent, non-profit organization. For more information about ABMS, visit www.abms.org.


* 2012 ABMS Certificate Statistics (pdf)

Number of Candidates Certified (pdf)

Reid RO, Friedberg MW, Adams JL, McGlynn EA, Mehrotra A. Associations between physician characteristics and quality of care. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(16):1442-9.

Chen J, Rathore S, Wang Y. Physician board certification and the care and outcomes of elderly patients with acute myocardial infarction. J Gen Intern Med. 2006;21:238-44

Curtis JP, Luebbert JJ, Wang Y, Rathore SS, Chen J, Heidenreich PA, Hammill SC, Lampert RI, Kromholz HM. Association of physician certification and outcomes among patients receiving an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. JAMA. 2009;301(16):1661-70.