Eligibility

April 24, 2015

The following criteria must be met to be eligible for the ABNM Certification Examination.

1. Physicians trained in the United States or Canada

See Certification Exam/Training Requirements for a complete description of the education and training requirements.

For physicians who received their training in the United States or Canada, a Program Director’s verification of training and clinical competence is required. The Program Director must complete the form “Program Director’s Evaluation of Clinical Competence,” and send it directly to the ABNM. See Certification Exam/Sample Certification Exam Application for a complete list of the supporting documents that must be submitted at the time of application.

The Certification Exam must be passed within 7 years of completing Nuclear Medicine or Diagnostic Radiology residency or fellowship training. The training must satisfy the ACGME Nuclear Medicine program requirements in effect at the time the candidate began their training. A candidate may take the certification exam up to 3 times.  If a candidate fails to pass the exam on the third attempt, or does not pass the exam within 7 years of completing training, one additional year of training will be required in an institution with an accredited Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training program in the United States or Canada. The additional one-year of training plus prior training or experience, must satisfy the ACGME Nuclear Medicine program requirements in effect at the time the candidate began the additional training. The candidate may take the certification examination 3 additional times within 7 years after successfully completing the additional one-year of training.

2. Physicians trained outside the United States and Canada

A physician who receives part or all of his or her residency training abroad may ask the ABNM to accept their foreign training as being equivalent to some of the training required in the United States and Canada.  This training includes the preparatory clinical year, as well as prior training in Nuclear Medicine or Diagnostic Radiology.  A physician must have at least one additional year of Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training in the United States or Canada.

See Certification Exam/Training Requirements for a complete description of how much credit may be given for prior training.  A request to have the ABNM accept prior training should be made as soon as possible, ideally before beginning training in the United States or Canada, to make sure the training plan fulfills the eligibility requirements for certification.

A Program Director of an accredited Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training program must support the physician’s request by completing the form “Program Director’s Assessment of Prior Training (Outside the United States and Canada).” The physician should send the completed form to the ABNM, with the following documents (including an accurate and full English translation if applicable, by the institution that issued the original document, or by a qualified individual):

  • Medical school diploma
  • Certificates or other documentation of medical training completed outside the United States and Canada
  • Results of medical examinations
    • ECFMG-US or MCC-Canada
    • Medical Examinations
      • USMLE-Steps 1, 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), 2 Clinical Skills (CS) and 3
      • or Comlex-Level 1, 2-CE, 2-PE and 3
      • or NBME
      • or FLEX
  • Medical license(s) to practice in another country, if applicable
  • Letters of recommendation or evaluations from directors of prior training programs
  • Curriculum vitae which accounts for all time since medical school

A physician certified in Nuclear Medicine or Radiology in a country other than the United States or Canada may be eligible for certification by ABNM without additional training in the United States or Canada if he or she has had three years of full-time experience, or equivalent, in any combination as resident, fellow, visiting scholar, or faculty in any department with an ACGME accredited Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training program. The three years of experience must be equivalent to the ACGME Nuclear Medicine program requirements currently in effect, and may include up to 6 months of CT experience and up to 6 months of elective time and/or research. Physicians must also and have the training or work experience required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The Chair of the physician’s department, or Program Director in the physician’s hospital, must document the physician’s experience in a letter sent to the ABNM, which includes the following information:

  • Dates of training and/or employment, including the total amount of full-time experience, or equivalent, in Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology as defined above
  • Average number of hours per week or percentage of time that the physician currently practices nuclear medicine, including the average number of hours per week or percentage of time teaching residents or fellows
  • Number of months of CT experience
  • Number of the procedures in the following categories:  cardiac stress test supervision, pediatric nuclear medicine, radioiodine therapy (malignant and benign disease should be listed separately), and parenteral therapy
  • Training or work experience required by the NRC (10 CFR 35.190, 290, and 390) , including 700 hours of experience, and  three cases using ≤ 33 mCi of sodium 131I, and three cases using >33 mCi of sodium 131I
  • Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • The average number of hours per week teaching residents or fellows

A $200 non-refundable processing fee is required when requesting the ABNM accept prior training or work experience.

 3. Licensure

A physician must maintain a current, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one jurisdiction in the United States, its territories, or Canada. The physician also must have a current, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in all jurisdictions where the physician is licensed, and, must not have a license that is restricted or limited, revoked or suspended, or voluntarily surrendered or allowed to expire to avoid action(s).

See Policy/ABNM Policy on Licensure Standards for Certification and Maintenance of Certification for a full description of the licensure requirements, and certain exceptions.

A copy of every unexpired medical license held by the applicant at the time of the examination must be submitted to the ABNM. Copies must show the expiration date. If a physician has only one medical license that expires before the Certification Examination, the physician must submit a copy of the renewed license before the examination results will be released.

A physician without a medical license may be eligible to take the Certification Examination if they have applied for a medical license before the examination date. The results of the examination will not be released until a copy of the medical license is received by the ABNM.

The deadline for receipt of all medical licenses is December 31 of the year the Certification Examination is taken, after which time examination results will be null and void.

A physician may be eligible to take the Certification Examination with a restricted (in-training residency or fellowship) medical license if the physician is enrolled in a training program after July 1. A letter is required from a Program Director to confirm enrollment of the resident.

A physician may be eligible to take the Certification Examination with an institutional license (hospital privileges) while the physician is in specialty or subspecialty training.  A letter is required from a department chair (or appropriate supervisor) confirming the physician will have hospital privileges while in training.

4. Exceptions

A physician who does not meet all of the eligibility requirements to take the ABNM Certification Examination may ask the ABNM for a formal review of his or her credentials by sending a letter to the ABNM with a $200 nonrefundable processing fee.  The letter should state the specific request, list the requirements that have not been met, and the justification for the request. The letter should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae, and a letter of support from the physician’s training Program Director, and/or Chair of the physician’s department.  The ABNM may request additional information before making a decision.