Initial Certification for Medical Physics

Certification in Additional Disciplines

Last verified on August 10, 2017
Any ABR diplomate certified in at least one specialty of medical physics may pursue board certification in additional medical physics specialties. A candidate who begins pursuing a second certificate may abandon it to pursue a certificate in a different medical physics specialty. The candidate may not, however, pursue two additional certificates at the same time.
 

Requirements

MOC Participation

If enrolled in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, candidates must be meeting MOC requirements in their first medical physics specialty while pursuing an additional certificate.

Current Requirements – For Applications to the 2018 Part 2 Exam

Candidates must demonstrate that they have the equivalent of at least one year of clinical experience in the additional specialty. The additional year of clinical experience cannot begin until after the diplomate is fully certified in the previous discipline(s). The clinical experience need not be obtained in a full-time position but should be consistent with the requirements of the specialty, with the total time committed to clinical experience in the specialty being one year or more. One year is defined as at least 80 percent FTE effort.
Another individual—who is certified by the ABR or American Board of Medical Physics (ABMP) in the specialty for which the candidate is seeking additional certification—must attest that the individual has the requisite one year of clinical experience in that specialty. Candidates seeking additional certification in nuclear medical physics may also have a supervisor who is certified by the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine (ABSNM) attest for them. The attester must also confirm that the training has covered the items in the attached list of ABR standards. (Note: Any training items not completed at the time of application must be completed by May 31 of the year in which the exam will be taken.)

Medical Physics Competency and Ethical Behavior

The supervisor must attest that the candidate is trained in appropriate medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice as described in AAPM Report 249. Finally, the supervisor must attest that the candidate meets the commonly accepted canons of ethical behavior such as those described in the AAPM Code of Ethics and is qualified to practice medical physics independently.

Requirements for 2019 and After

Any ABR diplomate certified in at least one specialty of medical physics (diagnostic medical physics, nuclear medical physics, or therapeutic medical physics) may pursue board certification in additional medical physics specialties. A candidate who begins pursuing a second certificate may abandon it to pursue a certificate in a different medical physics specialty. The candidate may not, however, pursue two additional certificates at the same time. The candidate must be enrolled in the MOC program and meeting all MOC requirements for his/her first medical physics specialty, while pursuing an additional certificate. The additional year of clinical experience cannot begin until after the diplomate is fully certified in the previous discipline(s).
The candidate must gain the equivalent of at least one year of clinical experience in that specialty. Beginning with applications accepted for the 2019 Part 2 exam, the clinical training for a second certificate must be obtained in a prospective manner. This requires that the candidate select a supervisor who is certified by the ABR in the discipline for which they wish to seek an additional certificate. The candidate and the supervisor will then develop a training plan that would include:
  • How the one year of additional training will be achieved. This must be one full year of training, but may be spread over more than one calendar year.
  • A brief outline of the topics to be covered and how and by whom the training will be accomplished.
  • How the items on the attached list of ABR standards will be accomplished.
  • How the candidate will be trained in general medical physics competency: appropriate medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice as described in AAPM Report 249.
  • By the end of the training, the supervisor must be willing to attest that the candidate meets the commonly accepted canons of ethical behavior such as those described in the AAPM Code of Ethics and is qualified to practice medical physics independently.
Once the plan is completed it must be signed and dated by both the candidate and the supervisor.
When the plan is completed the candidate will send the completed training plan to the ABR with their application for an additional certificate. When the ABR approves the plan, the training can begin.
When the training is completed the supervisor will be asked to attest that the training has been completed and if approved the candidate will become board eligible in the additional discipline.

Alternate Pathway – Fellowship Training

A diplomate of the ABR may apply for certification in an additional discipline using training completed during a clinical fellowship, provided that the training meets the following requirements:
  • The fellowship training must be in the area of the second specialty, and at an institution that has a CAMPEP-accredited residency or DMP program.
  • The fellowship training must not have begun until the diplomate was board eligible in his or her first discipline. Board eligibility begins upon completion of a CAMPEP-accredited residency, or approval for the Part 2 exam, whichever is earlier.
  • The diplomate may not apply for the ABR Part 2 exam in the additional discipline until he or she has attained certification in his or her first discipline.
 

Applications

Applications for certification in a second or third discipline are accepted between December 1 and January 31 each year. Please check back here on December 1, 2017, for the 2018 exam application. Diplomates wishing to apply for the 2019 exam may submit their training plan any time after July 1, 2017. Click here for the application.  

Exams

Upon ABR acceptance of the application, the candidate will be admitted into the Part 2 (computer-based) and Part 3 (oral) exam process. The standard ABR exam fee schedule will apply.
 

Time Limits

Candidates have specific time limits for remaining eligible to take the initial certifying exams and to ultimately achieve certification in an additional medical physics discipline.

Application to Approval for Part 2

Candidates who apply for a second or third certification must receive approval to take Part 2 within four years, or the ABR will remove the application from the certification process. Before a new application can be filed, the candidate would need to complete a year of clinical experience at an institution with a CAMPEP-accredited residency program.

Board Eligibility

After candidates have been approved for Part 2 in an additional specialty, they will be considered board eligible in the additional specialty and will be allowed six years to complete the certification process. If certification is not completed within six years, the candidate’s board-eligible status will expire. Before a new application can be filed, the candidate would have to complete at least one year of additional training at an institution with a CAMPEP-accredited residency program.
For more information on time limits and board eligibility, click here.

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