The American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery

News & Announcements

 

The process of ABPNS certification has changed since the ABNS/ABPNS merger. Currently, pediatric neurosurgeons who meet criteria for certification or re-certification will receive a “Recognition of Focused Practice” (RFP) credential in Pediatric Neurosurgery. These changes will apply to all North American applicants, but will affect applicants differently depending on the status and timing of their ABNS or RCPS(C) certification. The basic components include: 1) Completion of the ABPNS pediatric written focused practice examination, 2) Submission of a practice caselog that meets pediatric case log minimums/criteria, and 3) Completion of a pediatric focused oral examination.


ABPNS Certification for those on the ABNS track who have just completed their fellowship:

  • Pediatric written examination: Application for the ABPNS pediatric written focused practice examination is now available to all neurosurgeons currently completing (or who have previously completed) an ACPNF-accredited fellowship. Applicants are encouraged to take the exam in June toward the end of their fellowship. Applicants should apply to take the exam within one year of completing the fellowship, and the exam should be passed no later than one year after their application.
  • ABNS application and case log: Applicants should initiate application for ABNS certification, then begin the caselog submission process using the ABNS caselog data system called POST. Those tracking toward a pediatric RFP and who are on track to becoming ABNS certified must take the pediatric focused ABNS oral examination.
  • If the applicant’s case log does not meet the pediatric minimums (See ABNS Case log Requirements below), but the intention is to eventually pursue the pediatric RFP, the applicant should take the ABNS pediatric focused oral examination. Then within 5 years, submit another caselog that meets criteria directly to the ABPNS (See ABPNS Caselog Requirements below).


ABPNS certification for those on the ABNS track who graduated from their fellowship prior to July of 2017:

  • Pediatric written examination: Applicants tracking toward ABNS certification and who completed their fellowships in 2017 or before, are encouraged to take the ABPNS pediatric written focused practice examination as soon as possible.
  • Caselog: If the ABNS caselog submitted either via Neuro-Log or POST is still accessible to the ABPNS and the cases are not outdated (greater than 5 years old at the time of application), then there is no need to submit additional case data to the ABPNS. The applicant should reach out to Kari Bollerman at kbollerman@abns.org to check on the ABNS caselog and determine whether another caselog is required.


ABPNS certification for those on the RCPSC track:

Applicants certified by the Royal College who have completed an ACPNF-accredited fellowship are eligible for ABPNS-RCPSC dual RFP. There are 3 steps to this process:

  • Pediatric written examination: Applicants should apply for and pass the ABPNS pediatric written focused practice examination.
  • Case log: Approximately 2-3 years after fellowship applicants should begin collecting cases for the oral examination, then submit a caselog that meets criteria (See ABPNS Caselog Requirements below).
  • Oral examination: Once the above criteria are met, the applicant should apply for the ABPNS-sponsored oral examination. The exam has 2 parts: 1) pediatric neurosurgery cases and 2) review of applicant’s own cases.

ABPNS certification for those seeking ABPNS certification via the Subsequent Joint Pathway :

This application is for those who have completed an ACPNF-accredited pediatric neurosurgery fellowship – AND –received ABNS certification without the ABNS pediatric focused oral examination. The entire subsequent joint certification process must be completed within 10 years of completion of the approved pediatric neurosurgery fellowship. Failing to complete the process within that time frame will require the candidate to seek joint certification via the “alternate pathway” criteria.

  • ABPNS caselog: The applicant should submit a current caselog that meets the ABPNS Caselog Requirements (below)
  • Oral examination: The applicant should apply for the ABPNS-sponsored oral examination. The exam has 2 parts: 1) pediatric neurosurgery cases and 2) review of applicant’s own cases.

ABNS Caselog Requirements (Submitted to the ABNS through POST):

  • 125 consecutive cases.
  • All cases must have been performed over a period of 18 months or less.
  • All cases must have 3 months follow-up.
  • Follow-up may be performed outside the 18 month window.
  • “Staged procedures” will count separately toward the total of 125
  • Complication management/revision (“take back” surgery) is considered an extension of the original operation, they will not be counted towards the 125 total
  • Clinical data must be from at least 100 unique patient encounters
  • No case can be older than 24 months from the date of submission
  • Cases during residency or fellowship should not be included
  • 95 of the 125 must be cases performed on patients 21 years or younger.

ABPNS Caselog Requirements (Submitted directly to the ABPNS):

  • 65 consecutive cases on patients 21 years or younger
  • All cases must have been performed over a period of 12 months or less.
  • All cases must have 3 months follow-up.
  • Follow-up may be performed outside the 12-month window.
  • "Staged procedures" will count separately toward the total of 125
  • Complication management/revision (“take back” surgery) is considered an extension of the original operation, they will not be counted towards the 65 total
  • No case can be older than 18 months from the date of submission
  • Cases during residency or fellowship should not be included

ABPNS certification for those seeking ABPNS certification via the Alternate Pathway (for those who have not completed an ACPNF-accredited fellowship):

For applicants who have not completed an ACPNF-accredited fellowship, the ABPNS Board of Directors may, at its own discretion, offer an RFP to neurological surgeons who have been in practice ten years following the completion of their residency. The link above provides the application and list of required supporting documents. This category requires submission of a surgical caselog for each of the 5 years immediately prior to application, as follows:

  • The caselog submitted must represent all locations of the practice of the applicant at the time certification is requested.
  • A minimum of 65 major pediatric operative cases in each of the five years
  • A minimum of 3 months follow-up for each case occurring in the 5th (most current) year, with the most recent case being no more than 6 months from the time of application. Outcome data need to be submitted only for that most current year. Data from years 1-4 can be submitted using the ABPNS caselog spreadsheet without the data outcome columns.

After Submission of an Application:

  1. Applications from those following the ABNS track will be reviewed by a member of the Joint Credentials Committee of the ABNS and the ABPNS. Applications from those with RCPSC certification, Subsequent Joint Pathway, or Alternative Pathway tracks will be reviewed by the ABPNS Credentials Committee.
  2. Applicant will be notified by the Secretary-Treasurer of the ABPNS of his or her eligibility to sit for the pediatric written focused practice examination.
  3. The online examination will be given once per year, in June. Deadline to apply each year is May 1st.
  4. The ABPNS Exam Committee Chairman will notify all examinees of results.
  5. The ABPNS Secretary-Treasurer will notify all examinees of the next step.

List of Examinations

  • ABNS Pediatric-Focused Oral Exam: Exam given as part of the ABNS oral examination. The applicant should select the Pediatric track in order to take the pediatric focused oral exam rather than general- or spine-focused.
  • ABPNS Oral Exam: Exam given by the ABPNS to those seeking pediatric RFP but who have not taken the pediatric-focused ABNS oral exam (they may have taken the general ABNS oral exam, or they might be Canadians)
  • ABPNS Written Focused-Practice Exam: Exam given to all those who have completed an ACPNF-accredited fellowship and who are seeking a pediatric RFP. If unsuccessful at passing the examination on the first attempt, the applicant must re-take the examination at the next scheduled test date. If the applicant is unable to complete the re-examination process successfully, he or she must reapply and again meet all of the requirements outlined above.

revised 5/26/20
The American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery
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