Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

Certification And Credentialing

Certification and Credentials Offered by ABNS

The ABNS offers board certification in Neurosurgery.

Training Requirements

The ABNS offers a credential in the following areas:

The focused practice designation recognizes the value that neurosurgeons who focus some or all of their practice within a specific area can provide to improving health care. It reflects an evolution of practice that occurs following initial certification and is relevant to continuing certification.
For example, a Diplomate of the ABNS may focus 17% or more of their practice managing patients in the ICU with neurocritical care needs. This individual could apply for the Neurocritical Care RFP.

Certification Process Overview

  1. Residency training; seven years
  2. Pass primary exam while in training
  3. Optional Fellowship training; enfolded or post-residency
  4. Practice years
  5. Oral Examination
  6. Continuous Certification


Upon receipt of an application, the board takes appropriate steps to verify the statements of fact within it.

  • the board requires a statement from the program director to the effect that the applicant has met the minimum training requirements
  • performed in a satisfactory manner
  • is well prepared to enter the independent practice of neurosurgery
  • Inquiries are made from other references about training, practice and hospital privileges.
  • the board searches each applicant's licenses to practice medicine through the Federation of State Medical Boards.

After considering all available information pertaining to the entire certification process, including practice data, ABNS directors decide on the candidate's eligibility for oral examination and potential certification.

The application for board certification must be submitted within three years of completing training. The application review process generally takes about 6 months between submission of an application (including practice data(ABNS POST)) and sitting for oral examination. Candidates should be scheduled for oral examination, the final step in the certification process, within four years of completing training. Compliance with this regulation requires early submission of all information. If the defined time limit lapse (without approved exceptions), the individual is no longer considered to be within the certification process and must repass the primary examination to return to tracking toward certification. Three years (not another five) will then be allowed to complete the process.

Seven-Year Limit

The entire certification process must be completed within seven years of completing residency.

Pathway for Extraordinary Internationally Trained Neurosurgeons

Click here for more information on the ABNS Certification pathway for extraordinary internationally trained neurosurgeons

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