Learn what it means for a doctor to be Board Certified. Board certification by one of the 24 ABMS boards is granted when physicians meet additional requirements beyond their medical licensure granted by state government. Every few years, board-certified doctors are required to show they have kept their certification current through the ABMS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process. Board certification is not a guarantee of top medical care, but it is a credential that is highly respected by fellow physicians. This describes the basics that every consumer should know. ABMS stands for American Board of Medical Specialties.