C O A S T A L

The Coastal Experience

Board Certified

Last time you chose a new doctor, what did you look for? Chances are you read patient reviews or got a referral from a friend or coworker to make sure the doctor had a good reputation. Maybe you also wanted someone close to home. At the very least, you probably made sure they had “MD” or “DO” behind their name.

If your doctor was also listed as “board certified,” BC you probably thought “great, that sounds important.” And you’re right—physician board certification is an important credential. However, if you’re unsure exactly what board certification means for you as a patient, you’re not alone.

Physician certifying boards are private, not-for-profit organizations that test and certify doctors who meet their requirements for training, experience, and professionalism in their specialty.

What is Board Certification?

Board certification is an added credential that a doctor can achieve to demonstrate they have achieved a high level of expertise in a specific area of medicine. Board certification is optional, and doctors can choose from different boards for their specialty certification.


Ultimately, board certification is a symbol that a doctor has undergone additional training in their area of specialty, proven a high level of expertise in that specialty, and are therefore better qualified to practice in that specialty compared to a non-certified doctor. Becoming Board Certified as a Spine or a Neurosurgeon your surgeries are evaluated by a panel of surgeons reviewing your technique, outcomes, were there complications, infection from the surgery, and skill level to name a few. This grueling process can make or break your Board Certification. Uneasy, anxious, and unsteady surgeons will avoid this BC process until they feel they are more competent on their own without another surgeon’s assistance, watchful eyes and critiques.


During the Board Certification process patient selection is key. A surgeon will likely choose a smaller amount of surgeries performed and the type of surgery they feel most comfortable in. This is great for surgeons but you lose personalized care and may not be exactly what the patient needs to get better. At times a patient will be sent away to another surgeon to avoid any complications. At Coastal ALL of our Providers from surgeons, to our Drs and extenders (Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants) are BOARD CERTIFIED for several years. Which means you can have the personalized care to fit your needs in house at Coastal. With confidence that you are in the best hands with us.


What is Board Eligible?

That means a physician who has completed the residency in a specialty or subspecialty but has not passed the test, either because he hasn’t taken it yet or he failed it. You can see the problem here, where patients can get confused. “Board eligible” sounds pretty fancy. But some physicians have been calling themselves “board eligible” for years and years without ever passing the written and surgical test. Doing that will restrict what you can do in a hospital, but there is nothing to prevent somebody practicing a specialty from advertising to the public as “board eligible” for many years. It’s not false, but it can be misleading.

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