Mission Hospital - Mission Viejo & Laguna Beach, California
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Medical Specialties Guide

Download this guide to learn which specialists treat certain diseases or conditions. How and when you see a specialist will vary according to your condition, your insurance plan and the judgment of your primary care physician. Be sure to talk to the physician who is most familiar with your personal health history and check your insurance booklet for more information.

Board Certification

There are 24 medical specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Each board evaluates physician candidates to determine whether they have received appropriate preparation in an approved residency-training program to receive board certification. Similarly, the Association of Osteopathic Medicine has 18 specialty boards to certify D.O. specialist physicians. To become board certified, a physician must pass a written and/or oral exam administered by the appropriate specialty board and demonstrate that they have completed advanced training in a specialty area.

Specialties Guide (pdf)