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Continuous Certification

For diplomates who have completed the annual CC requirements and are at the end of a 10-year cycle, new certificates will be mailed toward the end of December.

Why standards matter - Civic Health Partners

A Diplomate with a time-limited Certificate will immediately lose their Certified status upon failing to timely complete all annual CC requirements more than two years in any 10-year Certification period, or upon failing to timely complete all annual CC requirements in any two consecutive years, or upon failing to complete all delinquent CC requirements for any year during the one-year grace period

Part I - Professionalism and Professional Standing

Chief of staff questionnaire

If the chief of staff is not available for attestation, a department chair or other suitable administrator or colleague may serve this role.

  • Hospital privileges- diplomates must demonstrate that they have maintained unrestricted privileges at their primary hospital.  The chief of staff will attest to this fact.
  • Participation in M&M at primary hospital (Part IV)- Attend a regular morbidity and mortality conference to analyze how you can improve patient safety with your department or service. (See below for more details on Part IV)
  • Participation in patient safety exercise (Part II)- The American Board of Neurological Surgeons CC process requires participation in a patient safety module. The chief of staff or their designee will certify that the diplomate is meaningfully involved in these exercises at the diplomate's primary institution.

Click here to access MyABNS

Part II - Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment

CME (continuing medical education) - diplomates must earn at least 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ in neurosurgery each year.

Part III - Assessment Of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills

The ABNS Part III adaptive learning tool and modules teach new evidence-based information pertinent to the practice of neurological surgery and provides diplomates with the scientific articles they are based on, in a user-friendly format. The learning tool and modules consist of multiple-choice questions and can be accessed on-line 24/7.

Every ABNS diplomate must complete the learning tool annually to meet the requirement. The additional modules in Pediatrics, Neurocritical care and CNS Endovascular are required for individuals who are maintaining a recognized focus practice credential.

The learning tool and related modules can be taken for CME credit or not. By choosing to take the tool/module for credit will satisfy both the Part II (at least partially) and Part III requirements.

It will be evident to diplomates that:

  • The exercise is tailored to update “core neurological surgery” knowledge by focusing on new evidence-based concepts most critical to providing emergency, urgent or critical care for the those in the diplomate’s communities, ultimately enhancing public safety.
  • If the learner does not get the correct answer, they will immediately learn why and be able to read the associated, peer-reviewed articles (primarily, Level I and II evidence). The question can then be retried ensuring real-time education and mastery.
  • The learner will proceed to the next question when they master the current concept by answering correctly.

Part IV - Improvement In Medical Practice

Significant changes have been made to this requirement. It is now being subserved by the annual chief of staff questionnaire verification of meaningful participation in M&M.

Meaningful participation in M &M means:

  • Participation should be at least quarterly
    • Review of diplomates' own case(s)
  • The M & M conference can be local, regional and/or national
  • Diplomates can satisfy this requirement by enrolling patients in national registries, such as NSQUIP, QOD, etc.

Click here for the ABNS M & M conference format template

Please note that most State laws provide a “peer review privilege” that prohibits malpractice plaintiffs and others from gaining access to materials and discussions undertaken in connection with certain legitimate peer review activities, particularly those conducted at hospitals. The scope of this privilege varies from State to State, so Diplomates are encouraged to consult with the own (or their institution’s) legal counsel for guidance as to whether a Diplomate’s contemplated M&M activity, especially any such contemplated activity in a non-hospital setting, will be covered by the privilege.

All ABPNS diplomates, in order to maintain their certificate of focus practice, are required to participate in CC annually as all ABPNS certificates are time-limited.