The American Board of Anesthesiology

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Examinations and Certifications


Please click on any section below for more information on an ABA examination. Examination results will be available within six to eight weeks of the last day an examination is administered.

Staged Examinations


Candidates who will complete residency training on or after June 30, 2016 will be in the Staged Examinations system. Please click here for more information including the Content Outline and Fees for Staged Examinations.


Requesting a Nonstandard Examination


If you are requesting examination under nonstandard testing conditions due to a disability, please click here for additional information.


In-Training Examination


The In-Training Examination (ITE) is administered to all physicians enrolled in ACGME-accredited anesthesiology residency training programs. Please click here for the ITE Content Outline.

Examination Information



Primary Certification in Anesthesiology


Primary certification in Anesthesiology is available to individuals not yet certified by the ABA or who are not currently a candidate in the ABA examination system.

Examination Information


Examination Dates


Application and Examination Fees


Part 1 Examination


Part 2 Examination


  • An overview of the Part 2 Examination process is available in PDF format here.
  • A description of Part 2 Examination is available in PDF format here.
  • The Part 2 Examination example is available in PDF format here.
  • The Part 2 Examination video is available here.

Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA)


Diplomates must demonstrate their cognitive expertise once every ten years by passing an ABA examination. The examination may be completed only in years 7 through 10 of the MOCA cycle. Diplomates are allowed to take the examination up to twice a year. If the examination is not passed before the end of the 10-year MOCA cycle, the diplomate’s certification will expire. Diplomates may register for the Cognitive Examination through their online portal account.

Examination Information


Examination Dates


Current Fees


Examination Tutorial

  • If you are unable to load the tutorial, you may access a PDF of the tutorial here.
  • A sample of 20 examination questions may be viewed here.

Content Outline


The examination consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, of which 150 questions will be in General Anesthesia, and 50 questions will be divided approximately evenly among the following areas: Pediatric Anesthesia, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, Neuroanesthesia, Critical Care Medicine, Obstetrical/Gynecologic Anesthesia, and Pain Medicine.

MOCA Keywords


Pearson VUE Professional Examination Rules


Pearson VUE Security Procedure (Palm Vein)



Critical Care Medicine Certification


The critical care medicine physician is a specialist whose knowledge is of necessity broad, involving all aspects of management of the critically ill patient, and whose primary base of operation is the intensive care unit (ICU). This physician has completed training in a primary specialty and has received additional training in critical care medicine aspects of many disciplines. This background enables the physician to work in concert with the various specialists on the patient care team in the ICU; to utilize recognized techniques for vital support; to teach other physicians, nurses, and health professionals the practice of intensive care; and to foster research.

Examination Information


Initial Certification


Available for Anesthesiologists holding primary certificates in Anesthesiology. Part 2 Examination candidates may provisionally apply for certification in Critical Care Medicine.
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Recertification


The American Board of Anesthesiology’s Critical Care Medicine Recertification program is available to diplomates of the ABA who have been certified in Critical Care Medicine.
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Pain Medicine Certification


Pain medicine is the medical discipline concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of the entire range of painful disorders. Because of the vast scope of the field, pain medicine is a multidisciplinary subspecialty. The expertise of several disciplines is brought together in an effort to provide the maximum benefit to each patient. Although the care of patients is heavily influenced by the primary specialty of physicians who subspecialize in pain medicine, each member of the pain treatment team understands the anatomical and physiological basis of pain perception, the psychological factors that modify the pain experience, and the basic principles of pain medicine.

Examination Information


Initial Certification


Available for Anesthesiologists holding primary certificates in Anesthesiology. Part 2 Examination candidates may provisionally apply for certification in Pain Medicine.
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Recertification


The American Board of Anesthesiology’s Pain Medicine Recertification program is available to diplomates of the ABA who have been certified in Pain Medicine.
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Hospice & Palliative Medicine Certification


Hospice and palliative medicine is based on expanding scientific knowledge about symptom control when cure is not possible and appropriate care during the last months of life. Research, teaching, and practice efforts in this field have led to a vast increase in knowledge in the effort to relieve suffering of seriously ill patients and their families. Physicians who acquire subspecialist-level knowledge and skills in hospice and palliative medicine largely practice in one of two distinct professional roles: hospice medical director and institution-based palliative care practice.

Examination Information


Initial Certification


Available for Anesthesiologists holding primary certificates in Anesthesiology. Part 2 Examination candidates may provisionally apply for certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Examination is administered every other year.
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Sleep Medicine Certification


The Sleep Medicine Subspecialty Certification Program is designed to recognize excellence among physicians who are specialists in the care of patients with sleep problems and specific sleep disorders. Sleep medicine encompasses a multidisciplinary body of knowledge regarding the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathophysiology, and pharmacology of sleep and wakefulness, and their disorders.

Examination Information


Initial Certification


Physicians interested in obtaining subspecialty certification in sleep medicine must:
  1. Possess an appropriate medical degree or its equivalent;
  2. Hold an unexpired license to practice medicine or osteopathy in at least one state or jurisdiction of the United States or Canada that is permanent, unconditional and unrestricted;
  3. Be a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology;
  4. Be a participant in the ABA’s Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA) program;
  5. Complete the specified education and training requirements or practice experience in sleep medicine.

Applicants who have completed training in anesthesiology in an ACGME-accredited core residency training program after July 1, 2009, will be required to have further successfully completed an ACGME-approved sleep medicine fellowship in order to qualify for the subspecialty certification process in sleep medicine. The applicant must provide documentation from the program director that the fellowship was satisfactorily completed. The applicant must be actively providing sleep medicine care at least one day per week. A letter to the ABA from the current Department Chair attesting to the extent and quality of their sleep medicine practice will also be required.

Applicants who completed training prior to July 1, 2009 may be eligible to apply for the sleep medicine examination if they have been certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine or if they have provided attestation of 12 months of full time post training practice experience in sleep medicine. Practice experience must include the clinical care of patients with sleep disorders, accumulated over a maximum of five years prior to application for examination. The clinical practice must involve a minimum experience of 400 patient evaluations, as well as interpreting and reviewing the complete raw data of 200 polysomnograms and 25 multiple sleep latency tests. This will be demonstrated by a letter from the applicant’s Department Chair or other institutional official certifying that the applicant’s clinical efforts are devoted to the practice of sleep medicine, at least to this extent. This application process for those who completed training prior to July 1, 2009, ("grandfathering") will be time-limited for the 2011 and the 2013 examination only.

The Sleep Medicine Certification Examination will be a comprehensive one-day computer-based examination of multiple-choice questions in the single best answer format with an absolute standard for passing. The examination is designed to evaluate the extent of the candidate's knowledge and clinical judgment in the areas in which a sleep medicine specialist should demonstrate a high level of competence. The Sleep Medicine Examination is administered every other year. The detailed content outline (examination blueprint) and exam tutorial are available on the ABIM's web site at www.ABIM.org.

Examination Dates


Application and Examination Fees


Application for Certification via Portal Account




Pediatric Anesthesiology Certification


Pediatric Anesthesiology is a discipline of anesthesiology that includes the evaluation, preparation, and management of pediatric patients undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in operative and critical care settings. In addition, this discipline also entails the evaluation and treatment of children with acute and chronic painful disorders.

Examination Information


Physicians who apply for subspecialty certification in pediatric anesthesiology must:

  • Hold an unexpired license to practice medicine or osteopathy in at least one state or jurisdiction of the United States or Canada that is permanent, unconditional and unrestricted;
  • Be a Diplomate of The ABA;
  • Be participants in the ABA's Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA) program;
  • Have satisfactorily completed fellowship training in pediatric anesthesiology or possess the required experience in pediatric anesthesiology as described below.

Fellowship Training:

Satisfactory completion of a one-year fellowship program in pediatric anesthesiology that was ACGME-accredited throughout the time of enrollment, with verification from the program director.

OR


"Grandfathering" Criteria

(Only for Diplomates who completed anesthesiology residency training before July 1, 2012)

An anesthesiologist’s clinical practice has been devoted primarily to pediatric anesthesiology for the last 2 years, or at least 30% of an anesthesiologist’s clinical practice, averaged over the last 5 years, has been devoted to pediatric anesthesiology. The anesthesiologist’s practice must include neonates and children under the age of 2 years and procedures considered high-risk. Attestations from the applicant as well as the applicant’s Department Chair (or other institutional official if the applicant is the Department Chair) that the applicant meets these practice requirements will be required.

Note: The ABA’s Credentials Committee may request further documentation of an applicant’s clinical practice, including case logs. Furthermore, "grandfathering" criteria will be applicable only through the certification examination in pediatric anesthesiology in 2015, after which authorized fellowship training in pediatric anesthesiology will be required. All candidates, including those who qualify via "grandfathering" criteria, must pass the subspecialty examination.

Examination Dates


Application and Examination Fees


The Pediatric Anesthesiology Examination will comprise multiple-choice questions designed to broadly assess knowledge in the field of pediatric anesthesiology. This examination will be given under secure conditions in a computer-based format at testing centers throughout the United States. It will be drawn from the areas specifically identified in both the ACGME Program Guidelines as well as the Pediatric Anesthesiology Content Outline posted below. A committee composed of experienced pediatric anesthesiologists will develop items for the pediatric anesthesiology qualifying examination. The examination will be given annually beginning in 2013.

Pediatric Anesthesiology Examination Content Outline


Pediatric Anesthesiology Examination Sample Questions


Examination Tutorial

  • If you are unable to load the tutorial, you may access a PDF of the tutorial here.

FAQs


  1. Does everyone who wants to become certified in pediatric anesthesiology have to take the Pediatric Anesthesiology Certification Examination, including those who are eligible through "grandfathering" criteria?

    Yes. Everyone has to take and pass this certification examination. Individuals can qualify to take the examination by either having satisfactorily completed an ACGME-accredited fellowship program in pediatric anesthesiology or via approved "grandfathering" criteria as described.

  2. Does everyone who wants to become certified in pediatric anesthesiology have to be enrolled in Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA)?

    Yes. Whether one has a time-limited or non-time-limited certificate in anesthesiology, individuals who wish to apply for certification in pediatric anesthesiology must be enrolled in MOCA. One can enroll in MOCA at the time the application is submitted.

  3. If I completed some additional training in pediatric anesthesiology beyond my residency in anesthesiology, but not a full year in an ACGME-accredited program, do I still need to qualify via "grandfathering" criteria?

    Yes. Only individuals who completed all the requirements of an accredited fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology are not subject to "grandfathering" criteria.

  4. If I completed an ACGME-accredited fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology, do I also need to meet the requirements for pediatric anesthesiology practice as described in the "grandfathering" criteria?

    No. Fellowships in pediatric anesthesiology have only been accredited by the ACGME since 1997, so documentation of satisfactory completion of fellowship training is sufficient to qualify for the 2013, 2014 or 2015 examinations.

  5. How much will it cost to take the examination in pediatric anesthesiology?

    It costs the same to take any of the ABA’s subspecialty certification exams (critical care medicine, pain medicine, and pediatric anesthesiology). Current fees are listed on the ABA website, and fees may change over time. Application fees for subspecialty certification exams are collected at the time of application. There is a separate fee for the examination itself after an application has been accepted. Please visit the Current Fees page for more information.

  6. Once I become certified in pediatric anesthesiology, how long will the certification last?

    All certificates issued by the ABA in and after 2000, including all new subspecialty certificates, expire after 10 years. In order to maintain these subspecialty certificates beyond 10 years, individuals must satisfactorily complete all the requirements for Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology for Subspecialties (MOCA-SUBS).

  7. If I have a non-time-limited certificate in anesthesiology (i.e., I was certified before 2000), do I risk losing my certification in anesthesiology if I enroll in MOCA and do not pass the certification exam in pediatric anesthesiology?

    No. Certificates in anesthesiology issued before 2000 are not jeopardized by enrolling in MOCA or attempting certification in an anesthesiology subspecialty.

  8. If I want to apply for certification in pediatric anesthesiology but have a non
    time-limited certificate in anesthesiology and enroll in MOCA, do I have to take an exam in anesthesiology as well as the exam in pediatric anesthesiology?


    Currently there is an examination in anesthesiology that must be taken within 7-10 years after enrolling in the MOCA program. However, the ABA anticipates that within 7 years individuals will be able to meet the examination requirements for anesthesiology as well as one subspecialty of anesthesiology by taking a single examination that will consist of a combination of questions about basic anesthesiology as well as the subspecialty.

  9. Will my Pediatric Anesthesiology Examination fulfill my MOCA exam requirement?

    No. Individuals will have to take one examination for maintaining their certification in pediatric anesthesiology and another examination for maintaining their certification in anesthesiology.

  10. After I get certified in pediatric anesthesiology, how can I complete both MOCA and MOCA-SUBS if they end at different times?

    Individuals who choose to maintain both primary certification in anesthesiology and subspecialty certification will benefit from overlapping program requirements for Part 1: Professional Standing, Part 2: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment and Part 4: Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement. The ABA will align their MOCA and MOCA-SUBS cycles to make it possible to complete all of the program requirements during the same 10-year period. The MOCA-SUBS program requirements mirror those of the MOCA program requirements, with the following exceptions:

    1. Some of the required Part 2: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (CME) activities must be related to the subspecialty certification being maintained.
    2. A separate Part 3: Cognitive Examination will need to be completed for each certificate being maintained. As a result, individuals will have to take one examination for maintaining their certification in pediatric anesthesiology and another examination for maintaining their certification in anesthesiology.
    3. The ABA will verify individuals' clinical activity in the subspecialty.

  11. Will there be a limit to the number of individuals who can take the Pediatric Anesthesiology Examination at one time?

    The ABA does not limit the number of individuals who can take the Pediatric Anesthesiology Examination. However, there is a time limit for individuals who completed anesthesiology residency training before July 1, 2012 who wish to apply to take the examination with the temporary practice (“grandfathering”) criteria. The last examination for which they can apply with temporary criteria is the 2015 examination.


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