March 16, 2023
The ABNM certification examination must be taken within 7 years after completing Nuclear Medicine residency 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.
To be eligible to take the ABNM certification examination, a physician must have the education and training, as described below.
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.
2. Physicians trained outside the United States and Canada
Physicians who receive part or all of their residency training abroad may have their foreign training accepted as being equivalent to some of the training required in the United States and Canada by having their credentials formally reviewed by the ABNM.
This foreign 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.
A Program Director of an accredited Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training program must support the review and submit the request. See the Credentials Request page for additional information and supporting documentation required for the formal review.
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 education and training required by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to be an authorized user and the Eligibility and Training Requirements for the ABNM Certifying Examination.
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 a 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 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.
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.
A physician who does not meet all of the eligibility requirements to take the ABNM Certification Examination may have his/her credentials formally reviewed by the ABNM. A Program Director of an accredited Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Radiology training program must support the review and submit the request. See the Credentials Request page for additional information and supporting documentation required for the formal review.