The American Board of Internal Medicine announces an Added Qualifications Examination in Sleep Medicine. This examination will take the place of the exam offered by the American Board of Sleep Medicine.
The American Board of Internal Medicine, along with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Board of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Otolaryngology, was recently authorized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to offer an Added Qualifications Examination in Sleep Medicine. Representatives from all four Boards will be developing and setting standards for the new examination. ABIM has administrative responsibility for examination development, and the participating/sponsoring boards have responsibility for setting admission criteria for their own diplomates. The examination will be open to diplomates in internal medicine, pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, or otolaryngology.
The first examination will be administered in fall 2007. Admission requirements for ABIM candidates are being finalized, and confirmed information about the requirements will be available by the fall of 2006.
The Training Pathway for ABIM candidates will require 12 months of satisfactorily completed sleep medicine fellowship training. Sleep medicine fellowship training undertaken July 1, 2009, and thereafter must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Sleep medicine training undertaken prior to July 1, 2009, must be conducted within a program affiliated with an ACGME-accredited internal medicine or pulmonary disease fellowship program. A Practice Pathway will be available for the first three examinations in 2007, 2009, and 2011. ABIM candidates who have not had formal sleep medicine fellowship training will be eligible to apply through this pathway by documenting certification by the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) or by documenting the equivalent of 12 months of full-time post-training experience providing clinical care in sleep medicine accumulated over a maximum period of five years prior to application for examination.
Under the old system, most doctors became sleep specialists by completing a residency in any speciality and then completing a fellowship (usually 1 year) in sleep medicine and then taking the examination offered by the American Board of Sleep Medicine.
Those of us who are diplomates of the American Board of Sleep Medicine are now going to have to pay a lot of money (probably $1000 to $2000) to take the new exams. Sleep specialists who are not boarded in psychiatry, pediatrics, neurology, internal medicine or ENT will be left out in the cold. I know several sleep specialists who are boarded in family practice and sleep medicine who will not be able to take the new boards.