September 07, 2018

ABA Announces New Subspecialty Certificate in Neurocritical Care

Date: 7/9/18


ABA Media Contact:
Michele Pore
(919) 745-2283

Raleigh, N.C., (July 9, 2018) — The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recently approved the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology’s (ABPN) request to offer a subspecialty certificate in Neurocritical Care. As a co-sponsor, the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) will offer the subspecialty certificate to our diplomates.

“Anesthesiologists play an integral role in the care and treatment of critically ill patients suffering from neurological conditions,” said Deborah J. Culley, M.D., secretary to the Board and a past president of the Society of Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care. “By offering this subspecialty certificate in Neurocritical Care, the ABA aims to help our diplomates who concentrate their careers in neurocritical care to distinguish themselves and signify their dedication to enhancing patient care.”

In addition to the ABA and ABPN, the new certificate is also co-sponsored by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Neurological Surgery. As such, certified physicians from each of the boards will be eligible for this subspecialty certification. We will appoint two ABA diplomates to serve on ABPN’s Neurocritical Care Examination Committee, which will develop the new exam.

There will be a six-year practice pathway for neurologists, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, and emergency medicine physicians who have a Neurocritical Care fellowship or who possess sufficient practice experience. The pathway will begin at the same time the first exam is offered. The co-sponsoring boards will share detailed criteria for eligibility by the end of the year. ABPN will likely administer the first certifying exam in 2021, and the ABA will award certificates to our diplomates who take and pass that exam.

As a subspecialty, Neurocritical Care has recently experienced rapid growth and attention. A 2014 study in the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology concluded that promoting subspecialty training in neurocritical care among anesthesiologists could generate opportunities for new patient care frontiers, in addition to addressing the growing need for neuro-ICU physicians.

Neurocritical care doctors treat life-threatening diseases of the nervous system. This unique class of physician, including anesthesiologists, is specially trained in the diagnosis and management of complex and serious neurological conditions like encephalitis, traumatic brain injury and spinal infections.

About the American Board of Anesthesiology®
Our mission is to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. As the certifying body for anesthesiologists since 1938, we partner with physicians to elevate practice standards and foster exceptional patient care. We administer primary and subspecialty certification exams as well as the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology™ (MOCA®) program, which is designed to promote lifelong learning, a commitment to quality clinical outcomes and patient safety. Based in Raleigh, N.C., we are a nonprofit organization and a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).