What Physician Jobs Can You Get Without Board Certification?

Working in the medical field is a passion, and many seek to attain the highest degree of achievement: Board Certification. This includes additional training and rigorous examinations in order to prove advanced competency in their chosen field.

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There are two certifying Boards: the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). The ABMS is the more well-known of the two and offers a more diverse range of certifications, with 40 specialties and 89 subspecialty areas, which cover everything from allergists to obstetricians. In contrast, the ABPS only has 18 specialties and subspecialties, though it is recognized as a reputable certification Board regardless.

You’ll often see “Board Eligible/Certified” on a number of job listings, which generally indicates that you don’t need to have achieved your Certification yet, but are still eligible to do so. These roles are more plentiful, as many organizations are willing to assist you in achieving your Certification in hopes that you will remain with the organization and fill more prestigious positions as you progress throughout your career.

Not being Board Eligible or Board Certified can make it more difficult to find roles, as many hospital systems specifically want those who have proven themselves as highly competent in their field. However, this doesn’t make finding roles without Board Certification; simply a little more difficult.

Today, we’ll look at a sample of potential physician jobs without board certification so you can get a better idea of the roles you can seek to fill.

Roles for Physicians Who Are Not Board Eligible

There are a variety of reasons why a physician may not be Board Eligible, such as allowing their eligibility to expire or dealing with extenuating circumstances that prevented them from pursuing this higher accreditation. As some Board Certified physicians may also be competing for these roles, it’s essential that you have a highly effective CV and be prepared to prove your skills during the interview process.

Here are some roles which almost never require you to be Board Eligible but still allow you to utilize your MD or DO in a way that will assist others.

Technical Writing

Writing is plentiful in medicine: grants, clinical trial reports, patent applications, and studies all require a skilled writer. If you have a way of words in addition to a clinical mind, you may do an excellent job as a technical writer working at a pharmaceutical company. Medical journals and textbooks are another way in which an MD or DO can utilize their extensive training to assist others in understanding the mysteries of the human body.

Pharmaceutical Research and Sales

Pharmaceuticals are the backbone of the medical industry, and for good reason: they are an effective way to manage chronic illnesses as well as provide life-saving interventions during medical emergencies. Clinical trials, basic science research, and product development can all be done by those who are not Board Certified.

If you have a golden tongue and love networking, you may find that you’re a great fit for pharmaceutical sales as well.

Specialist in Poison Information (SPI)

If toxicology was one of your favorite courses in medical school, you may be a perfect fit for an SPI position at a poison control center. These physicians advise callers and staff about the effects of different substances on the body, helping to save lives. Another benefit is that doctors receive training on the job, which can help fulfill the requisites for Board Certification in the future.

Wound Care Specialists

To work in wound care, you only need two years of residency, and you’ll receive extensive training on the job that can assist you in getting your Board Certification. These physicians assist in the treatment of both acute wounds, such as animal bites or burns, and chronic wounds, like bedsores and diabetic ulcers.

Aesthetic Medicine

Doctors in aesthetic medicine work in medical spas to provide Botox treatments, lip fillers, and other minor cosmetic procedures that improve a person’s self-image and confidence. It’s a very lucrative career, especially as the medical spa industry has grown dramatically in the past few years.


While Board Certification helps you compete for highly lucrative and prestigious positions, you can still achieve your dream of helping others even without sitting for these exams. There are a number of different roles in research and direct practice which don’t require Board Certification but offer satisfying and interesting employment.

With the help of job boards and careful research, you can find a role that doesn’t require Board Certification but does require both passion and expertise – which you have in spades.


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