Last verified on January 10, 2019
Initial Certification Requirements
To achieve subspecialty certification in pain medicine, candidates from the American Board of Radiology must fulfill all of the following requirements:
- Possession of a valid, unrestricted, and unchallenged license to practice medicine
- Valid and current certification by the ABR in diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology or interventional/diagnostic radiology
- Successful performance on the initial certification pain medicine exam. This computer-based exam is administered through the American Board of Anesthesiology, but results are communicated through the ABR, and the certificate will be administered from the ABR. There is no oral exam component.
- Subspecialty level training: completion of an ACGME-accredited Pain Medicine Fellowship after primary board (ABR) certification. Candidates will have 10 years from the completion of fellowship to complete subspecialty certification.
- Before submitting a subspecialty exam application, a diplomate must have paid any outstanding ABR fees in full.
Initial Certification Exam
The Pain Medicine Subspecialty Certification Exam is a comprehensive, half-day, computer-based exam of 200 multiple-choice questions. The exam assesses the candidate's knowledge and clinical judgment required to perform at a high level of competence in aspects of pain medicine. The ABR is a co-sponsoring board for the Subspecialty Certification Exam in Pain Medicine, which is administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).
Please visit the Pain Medicine Exam
page on the ABA website for exam preparation resources (i.e., content outline, exam blueprint, sample questions, and exam tutorial).
Exam Registration and Application
The Pain Medicine Subspecialty Certification Exam is administered via computer and is offered annually. More information is located on the Dates, Locations, and Fees
page. Applications are accepted yearly from December 1 through March 31.
Recognition and MOC
Recognition of Successful Diplomates
Successful ABR diplomates are awarded a continuous ABR subspecialty certificate in pain medicine.
Maintenance of Certification
Continuous subspecialty certification in pain medicine is contingent upon meeting the requirements of the ABR’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. For MOC program details, please see the MOC page.
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