Specialty Board Advertising
Business and Professions Code section 651(h)(5)(A)&(B) prohibits physicians from advertising that they are board certified unless they are certified by:
- an ABMS member specialty board;
- a specialty board with an ACGME accredited postgraduate training program; or
- a specialty board with "equivalent" requirements approved by the Medical Board of California's Licensing Program.
The Medical Board has approved the following four specialty boards:
- American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Approved: February 3, 1995)
- American Board of Pain Medicine (Approved: February 2, 1996)
- American Board of Sleep Medicine (Approved: February 6, 1998)
- American Board of Spine Surgery (Approved: May 10, 2002)
Therefore, unless physicians are certified by a specialty board, as defined by law, physicians are prohibited from using the term "board certified" in their advertisements. The law does not, however, prohibit the advertising of specialization, regardless of board certification status, nor does it prohibit the use of diplomate, member, approved by, or any other term that is subject to interpretation by prospective patients.