The ABNM revised its policy on Nuclear Medicine training in 2015 to make it easier for institutions with ACGME‐accredited Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology programs to offer new training pathways leading to dual certification in Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology, such as the 16‐month pathway during 4 years of Diagnostic Radiology residency, and the 5‐year combined pathway within separately accredited Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology residency programs. The changes made by the ABNM include:
- Defining 16 months of training in practical terms
- Removing the requirement for a minimum of 6 months of continuous Nuclear Medicine training
- Giving training program director more discretion in allowing elective time
- Permitting contemporaneous Nuclear Medicine training with other fellowship training
- Recognizing non‐ACGME accredited Nuclear Medicine fellowship training in institutions with ACGME accredited Nuclear Medicine residency or Nuclear Radiology fellowship programs
- Recognizing Nuclear Radiology training when ACGME Nuclear Medicine program requirements are also met.
There are currently three main pathways leading to dual certification in Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology: 1) Four years of Diagnostic Radiology residency (including 4 months of nuclear medicine training) with 12 additional months in Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training; 2) Sixteen months of Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training during four years of Diagnostic Radiology residency; 3) Five years of combined Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology residency in programs that are separately accredited.
The ABNM training requirements for certification eligibility are the same for all three pathways; diagnostic radiologists who complete accredited NR fellowships are eligible for ABNM certification if they have completed all requirements specified in the ACGME NM program requirements. The ABNM is sending this letter to all Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Radiology, and Diagnostic Radiology program directors to summarize the current requirements. Program directors are referred to the ABNM website for complete descriptions of the training requirements and any future changes.
Training Requirements for ABNM Certification in Nuclear Medicine for Physicians Certified or Board-Eligible in Diagnostic Radiology
|Total length of ACGME accredited NM or NR training||· 16 months, defined as 310 working days excluding leave of absence for any reason|
|Options for ACGME-accredited NM and NR programs||· 4 months during DR residency, plus 12 months of NM residency or 12 months of NR fellowship
· 16 months during DR residency in an institution with an ACGME
accredited NM or NR program
|Options for non-accredited NM and NR training||· 4 months during DR residency training, plus 12 months of non- accredited NM (e.g., fellowship training) or NR training This non- accredited training must, however, take place in an institution with an ACGME accredited NM residency or NR fellowship program|
|Consecutive months of NM or NR training required||· None|
|· Up to 40 working days (8 weeks) of elective time in any field (clinical or research) or any location approved by the training program director during the 16 months of required NM/NR training|
ACGME program requirements
|· 30 Oral radiotherapies with sodium I-131 (at least 10 benign plus 10 malignant, including 3 ≤ 33 mCi and 3 > 33 mCi)
· 5 Parenteral therapies requiring a written directive
· Participation in 100 cardiovascular stress tests (exercise or pharmacologic)
· 100 Pediatric nuclear medicine studies
· Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
|NRC requirements||· Classroom and laboratory instruction, and experience necessary for Authorized User (AU) eligibility as specified in 10 CFR 35. 290, .392, .394 and .396.|
|Examination eligibility||· October of the calendar year all requirements are fulfilled, or the calendar year when the individual becomes eligible to take the ABR certification examination, whichever is later.
· Diagnostic radiologists completing either NM or NR training are eligible if all ACGME NM program requirements have been met.
Diagnostic radiologists do not have to have achieved ABR certification prior to ABNM certification.
The ABNM has an alternate pathway to NM certification for physicians certified in NM in a country other than the United States and Canada.
Alternate Pathway to ABNM certification
- Three years of full-time NM or NR experience, or equivalent, in a department with an ACGME accredited NM or NR training program in any combination of the following categories: resident, fellow, visiting scholar, or faculty. The 3 years may include up to 6 months of research and/or elective time. The physician must have the training or work experience required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as described in 10 CFR parts 35.190, 35.290 and 35.390.