The new ABMS examination [sleep medicine board examinations], starting in 2007, will be co-sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Board of Pediatrics with the addition of the American Board of Otolaryngology pending ABMS approval. There are three pathways that qualify physicians to sit for the new examination: (1) certification by one of the primary sponsoring boards and the current American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM); (2) certification by one of the primary sponsoring boards and completion of training in a 1-year sleep medicine fellowship program, not overlapping with any other residency or fellowship; and (3) clinical practice experience: this clinical practice experience pathway consists of a 5-year "grandfathering" period open to physicians who are board certified in one of the sponsoring specialty boards and who can attest that he or she has the equivalent of 1 year of clinical practice experience in sleep medicine during the prior 5 years.
Starting in 2007, to sit for the new sleep board exams and become board certfied in sleep medicine, a physician must first become board certified in psychiatry, internal medicine, neurology, pediatrics, or ENT. The current requirement of the American Board of Sleep Medicine is only that a physician be board certified in any speciality prior to taking their exam. No official word yet on whether or not the Family Practice Board is planning on becoming a sponsoring board for the new sleep exams.