Focused Practice Recognition in Brachytherapy
The Focused Practice Recognition in Brachytherapy (FPRB) program has been designed to offer diplomates certified in radiation oncology whose practices concentrate on brachytherapy an opportunity to obtain additional visible and credible recognition in this important area. The program is an element of the ABR Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, and participants must be actively enrolled in MOC.
Benefits of Focused Practice
If you are a diplomate certified in radiation oncology with a practice concentrating on brachytherapy, as demonstrated by specific case volume requirements, you should strongly consider participating in this innovative program. If approved, you will be able to download and print a form verifying your status. You will also receive documentation of your participation in the Focused Practice Recognition in Brachytherapy program within the publicly accessed ABR online verification tool, which will be available in August 2012.
How to Apply
Applications are being accepted online through your ABR Personal Database (myABR). To access your myABR, go to www.abronline.org, log on, and follow the enrollment steps there. Application requirements include:
- Certification in radiation oncology by the ABR.
- Completion of a minimum of three years of practice following completion of initial certification, or two years of practice following a brachytherapy fellowship.
- Current and active participation in the ABR Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Failure to meet all requirements by the end of your MOC cycle will result in loss of Focused Practice Recognition.
- Documentation of current U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) authorized user (AU) status.
- Documentation of current hospital/facility brachytherapy privilege.
- Performance of a minimum of 30 unproctored interstitial and/or intracavitary cases in the 36 months prior to application, with completion of a survey embedded in the application attesting to the number and diversity of those cases.
- Submission of clinical data on five cases to a national brachytherapy registry, when available. Peer review of these five implants will be performed.
- Payment of a $200 application fee.
MOC Participation Requirement
Diplomates with non-time-limited certificates (also referred to as lifetime certificates) should keep in mind that the Focused Practice Recognition in Brachytherapy program is an added element of the current ABR Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, and as such, participation in this program will require active participation in MOC.
If you are a lifetime-certificate holder who wishes to enroll in MOC, download the application form. When you complete this process, you will be able to immediately apply for the Focused Practice Recognition in Brachytherapy program.
Requirements for Continued Participation
In addition to maintaining General MOC requirements, the diplomate must comply with all five-year Focused Practice Recognition subcycle requirements described below:
Complete a minimum of one approved brachytherapy-related Self-Assessment Module (SAM) during each five-year cycle.
Obtain a minimum of 50 CME credits in brachytheraphy (20% of the 10-year MOC Continuing Medical Education requirement of 250 credits), at least half of which (25 CME credits) must be in self-assessment CME.
Complete a minimum of one brachytheraphy-oriented Practice Quality Improvement (PQI) project during each five-year cycle. The PQI project must consist of a quality analysis of the most recent 15 procedures performed by the applicant and must be related to the principles and practice of brachytherapy. Each of these PQI projects will be counted toward the general requirement of three PQI projects for the 10-year MOC cycle.
Successfully pass a Focused Practice-based cognitive examination after five years (during the first half of the 10-year full MOC cycle) and the 10-year MOC cognitive examination requirement (MOC Part III), designed to include brachytheraphy-specific sections, by the completion of the 10-year MOC cycle.
Maintain a brachytheraphy case volume of 30 cases every 36 months during participation in the program. Documentation of the 30 cases with patient information de-identified must be provided to the ABR MOC Advisory Committee, from which five cases will be selected at random for audit.
Submit clinical data on all cases performed during program participation to a national brachytherapy registry, when available.
Pay a $200 annual fee.
In January 2011, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board of Directors voted to approve a pilot program for special recognition in brachytherapy proposed by the ABR. Approval was followed by a one-year planning (pre-implementation) phase, and applications are now being accepted for participation in the program. Actual program implementation will take place over a three-year period (2012-2014), followed by a year of post-implementation evaluation. We hope that after the evaluation of the program, the ABMS will approve it for permanent status.
Focused Practice initiatives are suitable for elements of clinical practice for which there are no Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved fellowships and which form an integral part of general training in the specialty.
For further information, please see the entire proposal, which is available here: Proposal for Focused Practice Recognition of Brachytherapy.
Individual questions may be addressed to Tina Henson at firstname.lastname@example.org.