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What is the Definition of a Certified Specialist?**

An otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon is a physician who has been prepared by an accredited residency program to provide comprehensive medical and surgical care of patients with diseases and disorders that affect the ears, the respiratory and upper alimentary systems and related structures of the head and neck.

The otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon should have command of the core knowledge and understanding of:

  • The basic medical sciences relevant to the head and neck; the respiratory and upper alimentary systems; the communication sciences, including knowledge of audiology and speech-language pathology; the chemical senses and allergy/immunology, endocrinology and neurology as they relate to the head and neck;
  • The clinical aspects of diagnosis and the medical and/or surgical therapy or prevention for diseases, neoplasms, deformities, disorders and/or injuries of the ears, the respiratory and upper alimentary systems, the face, jaws, and the other head and neck systems. Head and neck oncology and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery are fundamental areas of expertise.

**As printed in Which Medical Specialist For You, a publication of the American Board of Medical Specialties

(From the Bylaws, Article VII)

The Board may issue an appropriate certificate of qualification in otolaryngology (or in a subdivision thereof) to those who show themselves worthy of such certification according to the requirements of training and experience as stated in the current Booklet of Information of the Board.

All certificates issued by this Board are the property of the Board, and they are issued pursuant to the rules and regulations as outlined in the current Booklet of Information of the Board. The Board makes no representations as to whether its certification process will satisfy the recertification or specialty certification requirements of any state medical board. Any such determination must be made by the state medical board.

Each certificate is issued to an individual physician who, by signature, agrees to revocation of the certificate if the Board shall determine that the person involved:

a. did not possess the required qualifications and other requirements or is not eligible for examination, whether or not such deficiency was known to the Board or any member thereof, or could have been ascertained by the Board prior to examination or at the time of the issuance of a certificate as the case may be;

b. made a material misstatement or withheld information in his/her application or any other representation to the Board or any Committee thereof, whether intentional or unintentional;

c. has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of any felony;

d. has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or, in the opinion of the Board, having a material relationship to the practice of medicine;

e. had a license to practice medicine revoked or shall have been disciplined or censured by any court or other body having proper jurisdiction or authority, because of any act or omission arising from the practice of medicine, including, but not limited to, a state licensing board, a healthcare facility, or a medical staff;

f. has neglected to maintain appropriate professional standards in the practice of the specialty of otolaryngology, as established by the Board, and shall refuse to submit to reexamination by the Board; or

g. has failed to comply with the Maintenance of Certification process (for those certified in 2002 and thereafter).

The Board may be required and, in any event, reserves the right to report revocation of a diplomate's certificate to accrediting, credentialing and licensing bodies and government agencies.

If the Board determines to withhold or revoke any certificate for any reason set forth above, the person affected thereby shall be given written notice of the reasons therefor. If circumstances warrant, the Board may require any physician so certified to appear before the Board of Directors, before any one or more of them, or before an individual designated by the Board upon not less than 20 days written notice, and to show cause at that time and place specified in the notice why the certificate may not be revoked on any one of the grounds specified in such notice. If such a hearing is convened, the physician may bring to this hearing persons or documents in defense of any action. Failure of any physician so notified to appear as required in such notice, without due excuse deemed sufficient to the Board of Directors, shall constitute cause for revocation of the certificate. The Board of Directors of the American Board of Otolaryngology shall have the sole power, jurisdiction and right to determine and decide whether the evidence and information before it is sufficient to constitute one of the grounds for withholding or revocation of any certificate issued by the Board. Any such action or determination by the Board shall be regarded as final.

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