|Initial Certification in Neuromuscular Medicine|
The purpose of the ABPN’s initial certification examination is to test the qualifications of candidates in neuromuscular medicine. Neuromuscular medicine entails the subspecialization in the diagnosis and management of disorders of nerve, muscle or neuromuscular junction, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, peripheral neuropathies (e.g. diabetic and immune mediated neuropathies), various muscular dystrophies, congenital and acquired myopathies, inflammatory myopathies (e.g. polymyositis, inclusion body myositis), and neuromuscular transmission disorders (e.g. myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome).
New Certification Information
Initial Certification in Neuromuscular Medicine
History and Statement of Principles
The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR), in concurrence with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), established a Joint Committee on Certification in the Subspecialty of Neuromuscular Medicine on December 2, 2005. This was done to officially establish the field of neuromuscular medicine as a definite area of subspecialization in neurology and to provide a means of identifying properly trained and experienced physicians in neuromuscular medicine.
The actual mechanics of certification of qualified candidates have been delegated by the Board to the Committee, which operates under the supervision of and in accordance with the policies of the Board.
The examination will be administered to candidates from the ABPN and ABPMR at the same time in the same testing centers. Participation in the certification program is voluntary. Certification is not required of practitioners in this field, and the certificate does not confer privilege to practice.
Please Note: This is a brief summary of training requirements and not intended to be all inclusive. Read the current Information for Applicants publication for all requirements for Initial Certification in Neuromuscular Medicine.
To achieve certification in neuromuscular medicine, candidates from the ABPN must hold a valid certificate in neurology or neurology with special qualification in child neurology and fulfill all of the following requirements:
• Documentation of successful completion of formal training requirements, as specified in descriptions of the practice or training pathways
• Have met all training requirements by July 31 of the year of the examination
• Must meet the ABPN’s licensure requirements
• Be certified by the Board in neurology or child neurology by December 31 prior to the examination administration
NOTE: Candidates from the ABPMR should contact that Board for information regarding certification requirements.
The specialized training in neuromuscular medicine may be completed on a part-time basis, as long as it is not less than half-time; credit is not given for periods of training lasting less than one year, except under special circumstances that must be approved by the ABPN Credentials Committee. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide detailed documentation from the respective training directors that outlines training content, duties, and responsibilities. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
Training Pathway (Specific Training Requirements after 2012)
Applicants for certification in neuromuscular medicine must be certified by the Board in neurology or neurology with special qualification in child neurology by December 31 prior to the examination administration. After the 2012 examination, all applicants, other than those initially approved during the “grandfathering period,” are required to submit documentation of successful completion of one year of ACGME-accredited fellowship training in neuromuscular medicine that did not begin before the time general residency training in neurology or child neurology, including time spent in combined training programs, was completed. Training or exposure to neuromuscular medicine given to neurology or child neurology residents as part of the basic neurology or child neurology curriculum does not count toward the one year of training. All licensing and training requirements must be met no later than July 31 of the year of the examination.
The required one year of specialized training in neuromuscular medicine may be completed on a part-time basis, as long as it is not less than half-time; credit is not given for periods of training lasting less than one year, except under special circumstances that must be approved by the ABPN Credentials Committee. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide detailed documentation from the respective training directors that outlines training content, duties, and responsibilities. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
This 200-item, multiple-choice examination is administered by computer for four hours. Candidates are assessed in all areas of neuromuscular medicine: Clinical presentation; pathophysiology; genetics; diagnostic testing; and all aspects of acute and chronic management of disorders of the anterior horn cell, peripheral nerve, neuromuscular junction, and muscle. Examples of some of the more important or common conditions are amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, peripheral neuropathies (e.g., diabetic, inherited, and immune-mediated neuropathies), muscular dystrophies, inflammatory myopathies (e.g., polymyositis), and myasthenia gravis. The candidate is examined at a level beyond the training and knowledge expected of a general neurologist, child neurologist, or specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation.