Follow the Law When You Advertise Board Certification

 

When you advertise your practice in any media, be sure to follow Texas Medical Board (TMB) rules for promoting your specialization.

  • You may use "board certified" or something similar only if the certifying organization meets strict criteria set by the board.
  • Don't stretch the use of "board certified" or similar terms: Don't use "board certified" in an ad if the certification has expired and you have not renewed it by the time the ad runs. Also, don't use misleading terms such as "board eligible" and "board qualified."
  • You are allowed to advertise a specialty as a "field of interest." However, each listing of a field of interest must include the phrase "Not certified by an organization recognized by the Texas Medical Board." This statement must be separate from other statements and be "displayed conspicuously with no abbreviations, changes, or additions in the quoted language so as to be easily seen or understood by an ordinary consumer."

For example, an ad cannot state, "Certified by American Academy of Family Practice," because this organization does not meet TMB criteria for certifying organizations. The ad could say: "Member of the American Academy of Family Practice. Not certified by an organization recognized by the Texas Medical Board."

If you violate TMB rules on advertising board certification, the board may take legal action to remove the offending ad, levy a fine, and publicly document your misdeed. The board may even report it to the National Practitioner Data Bank.

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