Neurocritical Care Examination

The medical specialty of neurocritical care is devoted to the comprehensive multisystem care of the critically ill patient with neurological diseases and conditions. Because of the vast scope of the field, neurocritical care is a multidisciplinary subspecialty. This new subspecialty certification exam will be administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, but will also be offered to eligible diplomates of the American Board of Anesthesiology, the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Read our press release.

The first Neurocritical Care Exam will be administered in 2021.
 

Registration Requirements

To register for the Neurocritical Care Exam, diplomates must:

  • be certified by the ABA.
  • have fulfilled the grandfathering/practice pathway as defined below
  • hold an unexpired license to practice medicine or osteopathy in at least one state or jurisdiction of the United States or province of Canada that is permanent, unconditional and unrestricted. Further, every United States and Canadian medical license the registrant holds must be free of restrictions.
  • attest to their current privileges and clinical activity in neurocritical care (practicing it, on average, at least one day per week during 12 consecutive months over the previous three years).
  • be capable of performing independently the entire scope of the neurocritical care practice without accommodation or with reasonable accommodation.
  • be meeting MOCA® requirements.
 

Grandfathering/Practice Pathway

During a six-year “grandfathering” or practice pathway period, eligible diplomates may qualify to take the exam if they are certified in neurocritical care by the UCNS or CAST, have completed a UCNS, CAST, or other non-accredited fellowship in neurocritical care, or have documented one of the following:

  • An average of at least 17% of their post-training clinical practice time spent in the practice of neurocritical care (at least seven hours per week) for the past six years,* or
  • An average of at least 25% of their post-training clinical practice time spent in the practice of neurocritical care (at least 10 hours per week) for the past four years,* or
  • An average of at least 33% of their post-training clinical practice time spent in the practice of neurocritical care (at least 13 hours per week) for the past three years,* or
  • An average of at least 50% of their post-training clinical practice time spent in the practice of neurocritical care (at least 20 hours per week) for the past two years,* or
  • An average of at least 25% of their total post-training professional time spent in the practice of neurocritical care (at least 10 hours per week) for the past four years.**

* This calculation is based on an average work week of 40 hours. Physicians whose total practice exceeds 40 hours per week may still use the 40 hours number as the denominator of their percentage calculation.

** This approach specifically applies to academic program directors, administrators, or researchers, and provides them a pathway to qualification.
 

Post Grandfathering/Practice Pathway Period

After the six year “grandfathering” or practice pathway period, all candidates who register for the neurocritical care exam must meet the exam registration requirements listed earlier and must have completed one of the following training pathways:
  • One year of general ACGME-accredited anesthesiology, medical or surgical critical care fellowship AND one year of an ACGME-accredited neurocritical care fellowship
  • Two years of an ACGME-accredited neurocritical care fellowship.