|Initial Certification in Sleep Medicine|
The purpose of the ABPN’s initial certification examination is to test the qualifications of candidates in sleep medicine. Sleep medicine entails having expertise in the diagnosis and management of sleep-related clinical conditions, including circadian rhythm disorders. This subspecialty includes the clinical assessment, polysomnographic evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders including insomnias, disorders of excessive sleepiness (e.g. narcolepsy), sleep related breathing disorders (such as obstructive sleep apnea), parasomnias, circadian rhythm disorders, sleep related movement disorders and other conditions pertaining to the sleep-wake cycle.
New Certification Information
Initial Certification in Sleep Medicine
A. History and Statement of Principles
The Sleep Medicine Certification Program, developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), and the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto) for diplomates in internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry and neurology, and otolaryngology is designed to recognize excellence among physicians who are specialists in the care of patients with sleep problems and specific sleep disorders. Sleep medicine encompasses a multidisciplinary body of knowledge regarding the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathophysiology, and pharmacology of sleep and wakefulness, and their disorders.
The examination will be administered to candidates from the ABIM, ABP, ABPN, and ABOto 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.
B. Certification Requirements
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 Sleep Medicine.
To achieve certification in sleep medicine, candidates from the ABPN must hold a valid certificate in psychiatry, neurology, or neurology with special qualification in child neurology and fulfill all of the following requirements:
• Satisfactory documentation of requisite practice experience or completion of formal training requirements, as specified in descriptions of the practice or training pathways
• Have met all training requirements (if applying through training pathway) by July 31 of the year of the examination
• Must meet the ABPN’s licensure requirements
• Be certified by the Board in neurology, in neurology with special qualification in child neurology, or in psychiatry by December 31 of the year prior to the examination administration
NOTE: Candidates from the ABP, ABIM, and ABOto should contact those Boards for information regarding certification requirements.
C. Practice Pathway (Specific requirements during "grandfathering") For the First Five Years (2007 through 2011)
ABPN diplomates who have not completed 12 months of formal training in sleep medicine following training in psychiatry, neurology, or child neurology may qualify for examination in sleep medicine if they can provide the following:
• Attestation of the equivalent of 12 months of full-time post residency or post fellowship experience providing clinical care to patients with sleep disorders accumulated over a maximum of five years prior to application for examination and involving minimum experience of evaluating 400 patients, as well as interpreting and reviewing raw data of 200 polysomnograms and 25 multiple sleep latency tests. The Board reserves the right to audit this information. (Partial training in sleep medicine - that is, less than 12 months - will be counted on a month-by-month basis as practice experience, provided that it has not been credited toward requirements for admission to another ABPN examination.)
• Documentation of current certification by the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM).
D. Training Pathway (“grandfathering period” from 2007-2011)
The Training Pathway for ABPN candidates requires 12 months of satisfactory completion of sleep medicine fellowship training* which meets the following criteria:
- Sleep medicine fellowship training undertaken July 1, 2009, and after must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Sleep medicine fellowship training taken prior to July 1, 2009, must be conducted within a program affiliated with an ACGME-accredited psychiatry, neurology, or child neurology program.
- Training experience must be consistent with guidelines established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
- The Board will require a certificate of successful completion of a fellowship or a letter documenting successful completion, noting the beginning and end dates of the fellowship from the training program director.
*Sleep medicine fellowship training which was credited toward the training requirements for admission to another ABPN examination, e.g., the Clinical Neurophysiology Examination, cannot be used to fulfill the training requirements for admission to the Sleep Medicine Examination through the training pathway.
E. Training Pathway (Specific Training Requirements after 2011)
After the 2011 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 sleep medicine fellowship training.
F. Certification Examination Content
The Sleep Medicine Certification Examination will be a comprehensive one-day computer-based examination of multiple-choice questions in the single best answer format with an absolute standard for passing. The examination is designed to evaluate the extent of the candidate's knowledge and clinical judgment in the areas in which a sleep medicine specialist should demonstrate a high level of competence. A general outline of content coverage is listed below. A revised, and more detailed content outline, or examination blueprint, is available as a pdf file on the ABIM web site at http://www.abim.org/pdf/blueprint/sleep_cert.pdf.
MEDICAL CONTENT CATEGORY RELATIVE
Normal sleep and variants 13% Organ system physiology in sleep 5% Sleep evaluation 20% Pharmacology 7% Disorders related to sleep-wake timing, including pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management 5% Insomnia, including, pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management 10% Hypersomnolence unrelated to sleep-related breathing disorders, including pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management 7% Parasomnias, including pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management 4% Sleep-related movement disorders, including pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management 5% Sleep-related breathing disorders, including pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management 17% Sleep in other disorders 5% Considerations and disorders unique to childhood 2% Total 100%
F. Examinations Registration
The sleep medicine initial certification examination will be administered via computer at Pearson VUE testing centers and will be offered biennially (every two years).