Criteria for Certification

NBPAS requires fulfillment of the following criteria for board certification:

1  Previous Certification by ABMS/AOA Member Board

Candidates must have been previously certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA) member board. While we recognize there are other credible national and international certification boards, we can only certify ABMS/AOA diplomates. There are no exceptions.

2  Valid Medical License

Candidates must have an active, valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one U.S. state or territory. Candidates practicing outside of the U.S. who only hold a license outside of the U.S. must provide evidence of an active, valid, unrestricted license from a valid non-U.S. licensing body. An unrestricted means a license that has no restrictions. Restrictions include but are not limited to conditions, contingencies, probation, limitations and stipulated agreements.

3  Submission of CME Credits

Candidates must submit evidence of a minimum of 50 hours of continuing medical education (CME) within the past 24 months, completed through a recognized provider of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). Candidates with lapsed ABMS or AOA certification at the time of application must submit evidence of a minimum of 100 hours of CME within the past 24 months. Candidates in or within two years of training (fellowship or residency) are exempt from CME requirements. Renewal of NBPAS certification requires a minimum of 50 hours of CME within the past 24 months. CME must be related to one or more of the specialties in which the candidate is applying.

Only CME that meets the following will be accepted:

  • Official certificate or transcript from ACCME accredited provider
  • Certificate submitted in PDF or photo (i.e. JPEG, TIF, photo from iphone) format ONLY
  • Certificate must clearly state the name of the applicant, name of ACCME accredited provider, date of completion, and number and type of hours granted
  • CME must be completed within the past 24 months from the date of the application (for new certifications) or from previous certification date (for renewal certifications)
  • We accept AMA Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 credits only, or American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Category 1A credits only
  • Please note: *BLS, ALS, ACLS, PALS, NRP credits are ONLY accepted if they are completed through an ACCME-accredited provider and certificates meet the above criteria. Maintenance of Certification (MOC) points are ONLY accepted if official certificates are provided in conjunction with MOC points, as MOC points are not always issued on a 1:1 basis for CME hours.

4  Active Hospital Privileges

For some specialties, candidates must have active privileges to practice that specialty in at least one U.S. hospital or outpatient facility licensed by a nationally recognized credentialing organization with deeming authority from CMS (i.e. Joint Commission, HFAP, DNV). These specialties include:

  • Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • Complex General Surgical Oncology
  • Congenital Cardiac Surgery
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstruction
  • Female Pelvic Medicine Obstetrics
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Neurological Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Pediatric Urology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery within the Head and Neck
  • Surgical Critical Care
  • Surgery
  • Surgery of the Hand
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery

Note: Candidates who practice but are no longer surgically active (due to reasons including no hospital privileges, research, academic administration, etc.) can apply using the “Non-Operative Pathway”. Candidates will be required on their application to attest to no longer holding active hospital privileges. All other NBPAS certification requirements will still need to be met. A status of “Non-Operative Pathway” would then be included with NBPAS certification.

5  Medical Staff Appointment/Membership

Candidates who have had their medical staff appointment/membership or clinical privileges in the specialty for which they are seeking certification involuntarily revoked and not reinstated in one U.S. hospital or outpatient facility, must have subsequently maintained medical staff appointment/membership or clinical privileges for at least 24 months in another U.S. hospital or outpatient facility licensed by a nationally recognized credentialing organization with deeming authority from CMS (i.e. Joint Commission, HFAP, DNV). If medical staff appointment/privileges were lost solely due to not participating in MOC, this will be verified with the medical staff office and candidates may still qualify for NBPAS recertification.