Certification and Requirements

Purposes of the Board

The primary purpose of the Board, and therefore its most essential function, is the advancement of the health of the public through the establishment and maintenance of standards of training and education, and the qualification of physicians rendering nuclear medicine services to the people of the United States. The Board contributes to the improvement of health care in the United States and carries out this purpose by:

  • establishing requirements of graduate training related to examinations given by the board;
  • establishing requirements for maintenance of certification (MOC);
  • assessing the credentials of candidates for examination;
  • administering an examination for initial certification and maintenance of certification;
  • granting and issuing certificates in nuclear medicine;
  • maintaining a registry of holders of such certificates, and serving the medical and lay public by publishing the names of practitioners who have been certified by the Board on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website (www.abms.org).

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Significance of Certification

A physician certified by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine has:

  • successfully completed the required preparatory post-doctoral clinical training;
  • been judged to be competent in the practice of clinical nuclear medicine by the director of his or her nuclear medicine residency training program;
  • passed a secure computer based examination encompassing the medical uses of tracers, most often radiopharmaceuticals, and related physical sciences, thereby demonstrating mastery of the knowledge required for excellence in the practice of nuclear medicine;
  • demonstrated professional standing by obtaining a license to practice medicine.

A diplomate of this Board is capable of:

  • serving as consultant to other physicians, advising them of the clinical indications and limitations as well as benefits versus risks of diagnostic and therapeutic applications of molecular imaging and molecular medicine;
  • conducting or supervising the performance of clinical or therapeutic procedures involving the use of molecular imaging and molecular medicine;
  • rendering a valid verbal and written interpretation of the results of such procedures;
  • assisting in the medical management of persons exposed to ionizing radiation;
  • safely managing and disposing of radioactive and hazardous substances;
  • supervising a radiation safety program;
  • assuming clinical responsibility for patients under his or her care.

The certificate does not confer on any person legal qualifications, privileges, or license to practice medicine or the specialty of nuclear medicine. The Board does not purport to interfere with or limit the professional activities of any licensed physician.

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Exam Application

The application for the Certification Examination is on-line. In order to start an application, you must first create an account.

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The training requirements  and the licensure requirements are in separate documents.

Re-examination. Candidates who fail the certification examination are eligible for re-examination. If a candidate fails the certification examination 3 times or if more than 7 years has elapsed between the completion of training and taking the exam, the candidate must seek an additional year of training in an accredited nuclear medicine program before the candidate can take the certification examination again.

Candidates with Disabilities. The American Board of Nuclear Medicine supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Board will make a reasonable effort to provide qualified candidates who have documented and verified disabilities the accommodations that they need to take the test provided that these aids and services do not fundamentally alter the measurement of the knowledge and skills that the examinations are intended to test. Please notify the Board in writing with details concerning your disability at the time you submit your initial application to take the certifying examination. Documentation of the disability is required and must be submitted prior to consideration of request for accommodation for disability. Retroactive claims will not be considered. The Board reserves the right to verify your disability.

Applicants requiring such accommodation must request copies of the necessary procedures and forms from the Board no later than June 1 of the year the applicant wishes to take the examination.

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