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Policy Change for Primary Certification Requirement for Multidisciplinary Subspecialties

Effective July 2019, those ABPN diplomates currently certified in a multidisciplinary subspecialty administered by an ABMS member board other than the ABPN now have the option of following the lead of the administering ABMS member board regarding their primary certification requirement.

Under this new policy, ABPN diplomates in the following multidisciplinary subspecialties only,  may follow the administrative board’s policies concerning maintaining or not maintaining primary certification. Please consult the appropriate website for policy information:

ABPN diplomates must continue to satisfy all ABPN MOC/Continuing Certification requirements (Parts I-IV) to maintain subspecialty certification.

Under this policy, requirements for diplomates who hold ABPN-administered subspecialties have not changed. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is the only ABPN-administered subspecialty which does not require maintenance of primary certification. Please refer to the requirements tables below.

If your current subspecialty certification in brain injury medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, pain medicine and/or sleep medicine has lapsed, consult your ABPN Physician Folios account for more information about maintaining your primary and/or your subspecialty certification in the future.

Please carefully review the Statement on Intent to Drop Primary Certification, which includes important details and implications of changing your primary certification.

The ABPN encourages diplomates to investigate and carefully review the policies of various external stakeholders (including but not limited to the state licensing board, medical staff, and insurance panels) and any contracts that he/she may be a party to in an effort to ensure that dropping primary ABPN certification will not have a negative impact on the diplomate, his/her practice, or these other entities.

For more information, please contact us at

Primary Certification Requirements for Subspecialties
Subspecialty Administrative Board Must Maintain Primary Certification?
Brain Injury ABPMR Yes
Hospice and Palliative Medicine ABIM No
Pain Medicine ABA No
Sleep Medicine ABIM No


Subspecialty Administrative Board Must Maintain Primary Certification?
Addiction Psychiatry ABPN Yes
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ABPN No
Clinical Neurophysiology ABPN Yes
Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry ABPN Yes
Epilepsy ABPN Yes
Forensic Psychiatry ABPN Yes
Geriatric Psychiatry ABPN Yes
Neurocritical Care ABPN Yes
Neurodevelopmental Disabilities ABPN Yes
Neuromuscular Medicine ABPN Yes
Vascular Neurology ABPN Yes