In response to my Dec 9 and 10 posts about the new sleep board examinations, a colleague of mine (and an old friend from residency days), Dr. Eric Clemons, writes (as always my comments will be in regular type, with quotes from Dr. Clemons in italics and color):
I had heard at one point Family Practice did not want to sponsor the ABIM exam as they are planning to offer their own certification to family practitioners. That would explain their reasoning. You are probably right about that.
I think it is unclear at this point what the new certification will mean. For academicians they will likely need this. For those in private practice I suspect the certification by the ABSM will be sufficient for most insurance companies for the foreseeable future and may make obtaining the new certification less of a necessity. I agree that in the short-term most insurance companies will continue to accept ABSM certification. However, I think that by the 2020's most insurance companies will stop accepting ABSM certification. (I plan to retire in the year 2039).
I was under the impression that all current diplomates of the ABSM who are MD's would be eligible to become certified through the practice pathway (and could sit for the first three exams). This would certainly help out your acquaintances and would keep anyone from losing their practices. My understanding was that the practice pathway was for those who did not complete an accredited sleep disorders fellowship. You still have to be board-certified in Internal Med, peds, psych, neuro, or ENT. The practice pathway just gives the candidate a flexible means of documenting sleep medicine experience. There is still a lot of confusion about the requirements for the new sleep boards, and I could be wrong.
Thanks for your comments, Eric