November 17, 2023

ABA Approves New Fast Track Program to Help Meet the Growing Need for More Anesthesiologists

Alternate Entry Path Guidelines

Raleigh, N.C. (Nov. 17, 2023) – To help address anesthesiology workforce challenges, the American Board of Anesthesiology’s Board of Directors (BOD) approved a fast-track pathway to board certification for international medical graduates through its Alternate Entry Path (AEP) program. The BOD also approved increasing the maximum number of allowable AEP slots from four to eight per institution.

The AEP program provides a pathway for outstanding international medical program graduates and certified anesthesiologists to pursue ABA certification. AEP program participants have demonstrated a record of documented achievement in teaching or scholarship prior to entering the program.

The new fast-track pathway will allow AEP program participants who perform exceptionally well on the In-Training Examination (ITE) to take the BASIC Exam in an accelerated timeline, and those who pass the BASIC Exam on the first attempt to move on to take the ADVANCED Exam, followed by the APPLIED Exam. This new structure allows AEP candidates to earn ABA certification as early as two years after beginning the AEP program, as opposed to the traditional four years.

The new AEP program also increases the total number of international medical graduates who can be enrolled in an institution’s AEP program from four to eight. A letter from the department chair is required to show that the institution has the required resources to support all the AEP participants.

“The new fast-track pathway and increase in available slots are meant to recognize and offer board certification sooner to exceptional international medical graduates,” said ABA Secretary Alex Macario, M.D., MBA. “It’s important for us to help increase the number of high-quality anesthesiologists available to provide expert patient care.”

Once an AEP candidate passes the BASIC on the first attempt, the ADVANCED on the first attempt, and both components of the APPLIED Exam, the ABA’s Credentialing Committee will review the individual’s progress toward the requirements included in their AEP academic and training plan originally submitted. This review process determines if any remaining academic or training requirements need to be fulfilled before ABA certification is conferred.

This revised AEP program goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Program details, entrance requirements and application information are available on the ABA website.


Press Contact:
Mike Charbonneau

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 work with physicians to elevate practice standards and foster exceptional patient care. We administer 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, NC, we are a nonprofit organization and a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).