Press Releases

ABMS Boards to Offer Certification in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine

New York, NY (January 16, 2007) — Starting in 2008, family physicians, internists and doctors in eight other specialties can be board certified in hospice and palliative medicine.

Medical leaders reported that the subspecialty certificate would ensure that more doctors provide quality care to patients with serious and progressive illness.

This is the first time 10 ABMS member boards have collaborated to offer certification in one area, according to board leaders. Co-sponsoring the new certification are certifying boards in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology, psychiatry and neurology, radiology and surgery.

"Each of the co-sponsoring boards recognizes the growing importance of this area of medicine," said James C. Puffer, MD, president and CEO of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Hospice and palliative medicine groups asked several boards to consider developing the subspecialty certification. The ABMS unanimously approved the certification in September 2006. The new certificate will be offered to physicians who hold specialty or subspecialty certification by one of the 10 sponsoring boards, the ABMS said.

Participating boards will develop core requirements and an exam for the certificate. Each board will announce when the certification will be available, Dr. Puffer said, and will publish criteria to sit for the board exam. The certificate will be renewable every 10 years, depending on completion of education, training and exam requirements. The first exam likely will be offered in 2008.

Source: American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS),

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The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) provides health care professionals with the tools, training and technical assistance necessary to start and sustain successful palliative care programs in hospitals and other health care settings. CAPC is a national organization dedicated to increasing the availability of quality palliative care services for people facing serious illness. Direction and technical assistance are provided by Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Contact: Lisa Morgan, LDM Strategies, 212-924-6182 or

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