Subspecialty Certification Exams






We offer subspecialty certification programs in the multidisciplinary fields of critical care medicine, pain medicine, sleep medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, pediatric anesthesiology and neurocritical care (2021). Qualified ABA diplomates and those from other American Board of Medical Specialties’ Member Boards take the same exam and are held to the same passing standard. All of our exams consist of multiple-choice questions that are designed to evaluate physicians’ knowledge and clinical judgment in the subspecialty area.


DYK? If you complete 12 months of fellowship training in an ACGME-accredited subspecialty program, we’ll award you up to 50 CME credits toward MOCA if your fellowship was completed in or after the year you were certified in anesthesiology.








Critical Care Medicine (CCM) Exam

Critical care medicine physicians are specialists whose knowledge is broad, involving all aspects of management of the critically ill patient. Their primary base of operation is the ICU. They have completed training in a primary specialty and have received additional training in critical care medicine aspects of many disciplines. This background enables them to work in concert with various specialists on the patient care team in the ICU; utilize recognized techniques for vital support; teach other physicians, nurses and health professionals the practice of intensive care; and foster research. We have offered this certification since 1986.


Download the content outline See the exam blueprint Get sample questions


    2020 Exam: Oct. 10 | 2021 Exam: Oct. 9


    Standard Registration ― March 1 - Sept. 10, 2020 ― $1,800


    Register for the CCM Exam






Pain Medicine (PM) Exam

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 that brings together expertise in several disciplines to provide the maximum benefit to patients. 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. We have offered this certification since 1993.



Download the content outline See the exam Blueprint Get sample questions


    2020 Exam: Sept. 12 | 2021 Exam: Sept. 11


    Standard Registration ― March 1 - Aug. 13, 2020 ― $1,800


    Register for the PM Exam














Hospice and Palliative
Medicine (HPM) Exam

Hospice and palliative medicine is based on expanding scientific knowledge about symptom control when a cure is not possible and providing appropriate care during the last months of life. Research, teaching and practice efforts in this field have led to a vast increase in knowledge related to relieving the suffering of seriously ill patients and their families. These specialists largely practice in one of two distinct professional roles: hospice medical director and institution-based palliative care practice. We have offered this certification since 2008.

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) administers the HPM Exam every even-numbered year.


View additional info from ABIM

If you’re already certified in hospice and palliative care medicine, you’ll take the HPM Recertification Exam once in your 10-year MOCA cycle to maintain your subspecialty certification. Because ABIM administers this exam, we do not have MOCA Minute questions in hospice and palliative medicine.




    2020 Exam: Oct. 19


    Standard Registration ― March 1 - June 11, 2020 ― $1,800


    Register for the HPM Exam










Sleep Medicine (SM) Exam

Sleep medicine subspecialty certification recognizes expertise among physicians specializing 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. We have offered this certification since 2011.

ABIM administers the Sleep Medicine Exam every odd-numbered year.


See additional Info from ABIM




Pediatric Anesthesiology (PA) Exam

The pediatric anesthesiology discipline includes the evaluation, preparation and management of pediatric patients undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in operative and critical care settings. It also entails the evaluation and treatment of children with acute and chronic painful disorders. We have offered this certification since 2013.


Download the content outline See the exam blueprint Get sample questions


    2020 Exam: Oct. 31 | 2021 Exam: Oct. 30


    Standard Registration ― March 1 - Oct. 1, 2020 ― $1,800


    Register for the PA Exam














Neurocritical Care (NCC) Exam

The medical specialty of neurocritical care is devoted to the comprehensive multisystem care of critically ill patients with neurological diseases and conditions. Because of the vast scope of the field, neurocritical care is a multidisciplinary subspecialty.

The NCC Exam will be administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and offered to eligible diplomates of the American Boards of Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine and Neurological Surgery. The first exam will be administered in 2021.




    To register for the NCC 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.













NCC 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.