New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer recently introduced an amendment to the Education Law (Bill no. S3964), which would prohibit a medical doctor from stating that he or she is “board certified” unless:
1) the board or association is a member of the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) or AOA (American Osteopathic Association) or
2) the board is approved by that physician and surgeon’s licensing board or
3) is a board with an ACGME approved postgraduate training program that provides complete training in that specialty or subspecialty.
The claimed justification for the bill, is “to eliminate bogus boards and provide truth in advertising protection for patients.” The only state with similar legislation is California, which was enacted in 1990.
If passed, this bill places serious and unnecessary restraints on physicians who are members of boards or associations who are not members of ABMS or AOA such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Board of Sleep Medicine, the American Board of Physician Specialties, and the American Board of Spine Surgery.
One wonders why Senator Oppenheimer feels this bill is necessary right now, almost 20 years after the California bill was enacted. Is there a sudden epidemic of “bogus boards” in New York state requiring this bill to protect the public? Or rather, is this a reaction to rumored settlement talks in the lawsuit filed by the American Association of Physician Specialists vs. the NY Department of Health on the use of the term “board certified” on the NY-DOH physician website for physicians.
Title of Bill: An act to amend the education law, in relation to statements of specialist by a physician.
Text of Bill S3964:
State of New York
April 7, 2009
Introduced by Sen. Oppenheimer– read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher education
An ACT to amend the education law, in relation to statements of specialty by a physician
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
1 section 1. Section 6527 of the education law is amended by adding a new
2 subdivision 8 to read as follows:
3 8. A licensed physician may include a statement that he or she limits
4 his or her practice to specific fields, but may only include a statement
5 that he or she is certified or eligible for certification by a private
6 or public board or parent association if that board or association is an
7 American Board of Medical Specialties member board or a member board
8 the American Osteopathic Association, a board or assocation with equiv-
9 alent requirements approved by that physician and surgeon’s licensing
10 board, or a board or association with an Accreditation Council for grad-
11 uate Medical Education approved postgraduate training program that
12 provides complete training in that specialty or subspecialty.
13. S 2. this act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
14 have become a law.
This bill is aimed at those physicians who have claimed to be “Board Certified” by so-called “boards” that require a large payment and send a diploma by return mail. It would help to eliminate bogus boards and provide truth in advertising protection for patients. California has enacted similar legislation.