Specialty Board Advertising

Effective January 1, 2019, Business and Professions Code Section 651 was amended to remove the Medical Board of California’s (Board) authority to approve non-American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) specialty boards.

Physicians are prohibited by Business and Professions Code Section 651 (h)(5)(C) from advertising as “board certified” unless they are certified by:

  1. An ABMS member specialty board;
  2. A specialty board with an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited postgraduate training program; or
  3. A specialty board with equivalent requirements approved by the Board prior to January 1, 2019.

The Board has approved, and will continue to evaluate, the following specialty boards:

The law does not 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.

For complete information on advertising requirements, please refer to Business and Professions Code section 651(h).