January 14, 2019

ABA Announces New Alternate Entry Path to Initial Certification

Raleigh, N.C. (Jan. 14, 2019) – The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) will now offer a new pathway to anesthesiologists trained and certified outside of the U.S. to qualify to take the ABA examinations for initial certification. This new pathway – for clinician educators – is part of our Alternate Entry Path (AEP) program.

Previously, internationally trained anesthesiologists who were practicing in the U.S. could only qualify to take the initial certification exam through a research and fellowship pathway.

“Some of our finest clinician educators are trained and certified in anesthesiology in programs outside of the U.S.,” said James P. Rathmell, M.D., ABA director and Credentialing and Continuing Certification Committee chair. “These individuals add to the depth and breadth of our anesthesiology residency and fellowship training programs. It’s important that we provide them with a unique pathway to initial certification.”

The objective of the AEP program is to encourage outstanding internationally trained and certified medical graduates to become productive members of U.S. academic anesthesiology programs. The new clinician educator pathway offers an alternative path to obtaining initial certification with different, albeit equally rigorous, requirements.

“We recognized a need for an alternative path to initial certification in the AEP program after receiving a high volume of applications from candidates to the research and fellowship pathway who didn’t meet all of the requirements, but were exceptional and accomplished anesthesiologists,” said Deborah J. Culley, M.D., secretary of the ABA.

Like the research and fellowship pathway, applicants to the AEP program via the clinician educator pathway must be certified by the national anesthesiology organization in the country where they trained and be currently practicing in the U.S. Applicants must have received their training from an ABA-approved training program with four or more years of post-graduate education in anesthesiology. Unique to the clinician educator pathway, applicants must:

  1. Have a letter of support from the sponsoring program’s chair and program director
  2. Hold an academic rank of assistant professor or higher at the time of application
  3. Be board certified by an ABA-approved certifying body
  4. Hold a valid unrestricted medical license to practice in the U.S. for scope of practice

More information on the AEP program and the two pathways to initial certification can be found on our website: https://theaba.org/alternate%20entry%20pathway.html.

ABA Media Contact
Michelle Taylor
Director of Marketing and Communications

About the American Board of Anesthesiology
The mission of the American Board of Anesthesiology® (ABA) is to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. As the certifying body for anesthesiologists since 1938, the ABA is committed to partnering with physicians to advance lifelong learning and exceptional patient care. The Board administers initial 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., the ABA is a nonprofit organization and a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties.