Phlebologists have varied backgrounds including general surgery, internal medicine, pain management, cardiologists and even vascular surgery. The American Board of Phlebology was only established in 2007 with the goal of setting standards of vein practice but is not recognized by the American Board of Specialities due to the lack of a formal training program associated with its board certification. Phlebologists with this certification do not need to complete any formalized training programs in vascular medicine but can obtain “board-certification” simply by passing a written test. As stated above, vascular training can only be formally obtained during a fellowship in vascular surgery, cardiology or interventional radiology. During these programs, trainees undergo supervised education over several years learning technical competency and safe practices for endovascular procedures. Other residency programs including internal medicine, pain management, and family medicine simply do not provide this level of training as it is outside the scope of their practice. As such, board certification in phlebology or ABVLM (American Board of Vascular and Lymphatic Medicine) does not imply the completion of formal training in vascular medicine. Phlebologists without training in either vascular surgery, cardiology or interventional radiology should not be automatically assumed as vascular specialists.
Advantages of Phlebologists
- A limited number of physicians who have additionally completed formalized training programs in either vascular surgery, interventional radiology or invasive cardiology.
- A written test is rigorous and does test the physician on knowledge (not skill).
Need to Consider
- Phlebologists should be examined for backgrounds in ABMS recognized specialties such as interventional cardiology or vascular surgery