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Maintenance of certification: part 2—continuous certification
  1. Joshua A Hirsch1,
  2. Gary J Becker2,
  3. Colin P Derdeyn3,
  4. Mahesh V Jayaraman4,
  5. Vincent C Traynelis5,
  6. Philip M Meyers6
  1. 1NeuroEndovascular Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2American Board of Radiology, Tuscon, Arizona, USA
  3. 3Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA
  4. 4Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  5. 5Rush University Medical Center, University Neurosurgery, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  6. 6Department of Neurological Surgery, Neurological Institute, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr J A Hirsch, NeuroEndovascular Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Hirsch{at}

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In the first article of this series, we explored the historical development of medical specialty societies, and how this process ultimately resulted in the formation of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program grew out of this association as a means to ensure continuous improvement throughout each physician's career in a specialty chosen area of specialization.

Neurointervention is somewhat unique in that it enjoys the participation of physicians from three different specialty boards: radiology, neurosurgery, and neurology. In order to understand the MOC process, the reader needs some information about the primary certification process of the individual boards. Here, we will review the primary certification and the various MOC requirements that neurointerventionalists will be exposed to through their specific parent organization: American Board of Radiology (ABR), American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS), and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). We relied heavily on the individual specialty board websites, which will be cited throughout this text, as well as direct communication with the representatives of the three boards. In the event that the question should arise, the authors note that the order of discussion was chosen in a random fashion.

American Board of Neurological Surgery

Primary certification

The ABNS was approved as an examining board in 1940 by the action of the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties, a precursor body to the ABNS. Primary certification by the ABNS occurs following completion of an approved educational training program, and involves both a written and an oral examination.1 Below are detailed the residency criteria, effective from 7 January 2013.

Neurosurgical residency is 7 years in duration. Training begins when a full time resident enrolls in a program recognized by the ABNS and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) via its Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Neurological Surgery. During the …

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