The Future of Board Certification

By Christopher Betz posted 08-26-2014 15:10


As a Board Certified pharmacist, I recently received notification that BPS issued a Draft Discussion Paper on Recognizing Future Specialties. BPS is seeking input to effectively evolve a specialty framework that is reflective of the certification needs with the profession, the healthcare system, and the patients we serve. I encourage you to become familiar with the issues that are being examined:

I also serve as the Chair of the ASHP Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists which plays a leadership role for ASHP in supporting and promoting board certification for pharmacists.

The question of the future framework of specialties is an important decision and should be carefully analyzed and discussed by all members. The Executive Committee of the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists has developed some critical questions for you to consider for the future implications of board specialties and subspecialties:

  1. Should pharmacy’s specialty model mirror that of medicine or other disciplines? For example the medical model has an extensive array of specialties and subspecialties. Does this translate in a parallel fashion to the pharmacy profession or is pharmacy unique?
  2. Will certificants need to pay separate fees to maintain certification in both the primary specialty as well as one or more subspecialties?  
  3. Will subspecialties necessitate the development of PGY3 residency training? If so, will efforts to grow PGY3 programs compete with efforts to expand the availability of PGY1 and PGY2 programs?
  4. How many specialties/subspecialties can the profession of pharmacy support and how many does it need?

We encourage all members to share their feedback with BPS and with ASHP and to think carefully about critical decisions that will impact our profession and the patients we serve in the long term. You may submit your comments to BPS directly or to me at ASHP will be serving as a participant in the BPS Specialty Framework Steering Committee. ASHP and the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists will continue to seek your input as we work with BPS and the profession in examining this issue.