The ABOHNS offers Primary and Subspecialty Certification to otolaryngologist - head and neck surgeons. Once certification is achieved, diplomates participate in a Continuing Certification assessment program which requires maintaining a high level of professionalism and knowledge, and keeping up-to-date with the evolving, clinically important, patient care advances in the specialty.
Commonly asked questions by patients and caregivers
Why the long name? Do you certify ENTs?
Otolaryngologist - head and neck surgeons provide patients with both medical and surgical care of the head and neck area (see What We Certify for specialty details). This includes all areas of the head and neck, except for the brain, contents of the eye sockets, spine and vascular disease that affects blood vessels.
Many people call doctors within this specialty an “Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor,” or “ENT.” However, that label does not acknowledge all of their medical and surgical capabilities, so many prefer to be called an "otolaryngologist - head and neck surgeon". This title is consistent with the name of the Board, language used by a great majority of hospital departments and clinical practices, names of specialty societies in the field, and titles of textbooks and journals within the specialty.
How does otolaryngology - head & neck surgery overlap with other specialties?
The practice of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery overlaps to varying degrees with other specialties, such as general surgery, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, neurosurgery, neurology, thoracic surgery, pediatrics, endocrinology, pulmonary medicine, and allergy/immunology. Specialists in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery frequently collaborate with specialists in these other areas to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. Because of their intensive training in both medical and surgical aspects of disease evaluation and management, and focus only on the head and neck region, otolaryngologist- head and neck surgeons are frequently consulted by peer physicians from other specialties for providing assistance with patient care.
Are all Otolaryngologist - Head and Neck Surgeons board certified?
Not everyone who practices otolaryngology- head and neck surgery is board certified. To legally practice medicine, a doctor is only required to be licensed by the state in which he/she practices. State medical licensure allows a physician to independently practice medicine but does not define one as a specialist to the public. Board certification adds a higher level of credentialing and validates expertise in a specific specialty or subspecialty based on training and assessment requirements. The ABOHNS examinations to attain initial board certification, along with the renewal of certification at periodic intervals through the continuing certification program, ensure that its diplomates (board certified physicians) meet or exceed the standards of the specialty and continue to do so throughout their careers.
Find out if a doctor is board certified by using the verify certification tool.