ABIM Call For Comments on Proposed Change to Sequencing of CCM and Pulmonary Board Certification Examinations

Read APCCMPD's Response

Issue Brief:
On March 11, 2019, the ABIM requested comment on a proposed change to the sequence in which the Pulmonary Board Exam and the Critical Care Board Exam are offed to trainees. 

Currently, Fellows in a 3-year PCCM Program must pass the Pulmonary Disease Certification Exam before taking the Critical Care Medicine Certification Exam. The problem raised by ABIM is that some trainees do not pass the Pulmonary Disease Certification Exam. As such, trainees have petitioned to take the Pulmonary and Critical Care Certification Exams simultaneously.  

ABIM provided the following context. Trainees in separate, distinct, fellowships combining CCM and another subspecialty (including Pulmonary Disease Fellowship), can take the exam in any sequence. Further, Trainees in other combined fellowship (i.e. Hematology/Oncology) can choose their sequence of exams. 

ABIM proposes the following: Remove the requirement for having Pulmonary Disease certification prior to applying for admission to the Critical Care Medicine Examination. Allow trainees to take both the Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine Certification Examinations after their final year of combined training 

Link to Letter ABIM sent APCCMPD

APCCMPD asked for clarification regarding the potential for the proposed change to impact the ability of a fellow in a combined Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program to take the Critical Care Certification Examination during the final year of training instead of the Pulmonary Disease Certification Examination as is often the case

ABIM Provided the following response:

“Thank you for the clarifying question. The proposed policy would not allow a pulmonary/critical care fellow to take the Critical Care Medicine Examination until all three years of accredited training are satisfactorily completed.  So, a fellow would not be able to take the Critical Care Medicine Examination in the third year of fellowship training instead of taking the Pulmonary Disease Examination.  That type of policy change is not being considered.

Following training completion, the proposed policy would allow fellows to take both examinations at the same time, or take the Critical Care Medicine Examination prior to taking or passing the Pulmonary Disease Examination.”