ABMGG Glossary of Terms

ABMS -The American Board of Medical Specialties is the preeminent medical organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. It assists its 24 Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. ABMS Member Boards provide physician certification information to ABMS for its certification verification service programs. ABMS is recognized by the key healthcare credentialing accreditation entities as a primary equivalent source of board certification data for medical specialists. www.abms.org 

The 24 ABMS member boards include:

  • American Board of Allergy and Immunology
  • American Board of Anesthesiology
  • American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • American Board of Dermatology
  • American Board of Emergency Medicine
  • American Board of Family Medicine
  • American Board of Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics
  • American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • American Board of Nuclear Medicine
  • American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • American Board of Ophthalmology
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Board of Otolaryngology
  • American Board of Pathology
  • American Board of Pediatrics
  • American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Preventive Medicine
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • American Board of Radiology, American Board of Surgery
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery
  • American Board of Urology

ACCME: The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education is the council that approves programs that offer continuing medical education credits. Their mission is the identification, development and promotion of standards for quality continuing medical education (CME) utilized by physicians in their maintenance of competence and incorporation of new knowledge to improve quality medical care for patients and their communities. www.accme.org 

Accreditation: A voluntary process of evaluation and review based on published standards and following a prescribed process, performed by a non-governmental agency of peers. Accreditation applies to training programs..

ACGME: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is a private, non-profit council that evaluates and accredits medical residency programs in the United States. They are the organization that approves and accredits Medical/Clinical Genetics residencies as well as Medical Biochemical Genetics and Molecular Genetic Pathology programs.  www.acgme.org.

ACMG: The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics provides education, resources and a voice for the medical genetics profession. To make genetic services available to and improve the health of the public, the ACMG promotes the development and implementation of methods to diagnose, treat and prevent genetic diseases. www.acmg.net

Applicant: A person who has submitted an application to enter the certification process.

Active Candidate Status (ACS): ABMGG limits active candidate status to individual who fulfill the criteria for certification. Those practitioners working in the field of medical genetics who do not meet the specified criteria, despite academic or clinical backgrounds are not eligible to sit for the ABMG certification examination and are not considered Active Candidates. The status of Active Candidate is for a particular examination cycle and is granted after all requirements have been met. ACS is no longer valid after the results of the examination are released.

Certification: A process to provide assurance to the public that a certified medical specialist has successfully completed an approved educational program and an evaluation, including an examination process designed to assess the knowledge, experience and skills requisite to the provision of high quality care in particular specialty. Certification applies to individuals.

Combined Specialty Programs are programs that are recognized by two or more separate specialty boards that provide graduate medical education in a particular combined specialty.

Diplomate of the ABMGG: A person who has passed the certification examination and is certified by the ABMGG.

ECFMG:  The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, through its program of certification, assesses the readiness of international medical graduates to enter residency or fellowship programs in the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). www.ecfmg.org

FACMG: Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics is the designation used by doctoral level members certified by the ABMGG who is a member of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. 

Fellow: An ABMGG fellow could be a postdoctoral trainee in Clinical Biochemical Genetics, Clinical Cytogenetics, Clinical Molecular Genetics, Molecular Genetic Pathology or Medical Biochemical Genetics.

Program Director: The one physician or PhD designated with authority and accountability for the operation of the residency/fellowship training program.

Resident:  A physician in an ACGME-accredited graduate medical education program in Medical/Clinical Genetics and Genomics.