A Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

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  • ABMS Core Competencies:  Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism, and Systems-Based Practice
  • Part II requirements must be reported to ABPath every two years via PATHway.


Completion of an ACGME-accredited 12-month fellowship during one academic year of any two-year reporting period will meet all Lifelong Learning and Improvement in Medical Practice requirements (except for peer evaluations) for that reporting period. If the fellowship is not accredited by the ACGME, the Designated Institutional Official or Program Director must provide a letter to be submitted to ABPath by the diplomate indicating that the fellowship is reviewed by the GME committee and is held to the same standards and applicable program requirements as ACGME-accredited fellowships.

2017 2015-2016 or 2016-2017
2018 2016-2017 or 2017-2018
2019 2017-2018 or 2018-2019
2020 2018-2019 or 2019-2020

Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs)

If not reporting the completion of a fellowship or Physician-Scientist Research Pathway, each diplomate must obtain a minimum of 70 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits for each two-year reporting period of the CC cycle.  At least 20 of the 70 CME credits must be obtained from completion of self-assessment modules (SAMs). Eighty percent of required CME must be directly related to the diplomate’s scope of practice. The remainder may be in areas of general relevance to medicine (e.g. ethics, practice management, informatics, etc.).

  • Diplomates may claim credit for sixty (60) AMA Category 1 CME credits for successfully completing an ABMS board certification or a 10-year CC Cycle.  To claim credit, the diplomate must apply directly to the AMA and provide documentation (a copy of the board certificate or the CC notification of cycle completion letter).  Information and the direct credit application can be found on the AMA website.

Diplomates who are not current in reporting CME/SAM activities will not be allowed to sit for CC assessments or for any additional primary or subspecialty exams. ABPath reserves the right to audit a diplomate’s CME data and require copies of CME and SAMs completion certificates.

Self-Assessment Modules (SAM)

The term “SAM” was developed by ABPath and is not recognized as a unique type of CME by the ACCME. As all SAM must be AMA Category 1 CME, a diplomate may use SAM-eligible CME to satisfy CME requirements for licensure, etc., as well as the requirements of the CC Program. SAM credits are CME credits which are eligible to be reported to ABPath's CC Program as Self-Assessment.

SAMs must be approved for AMA Category 1 CME credit by an organization accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).  The diplomate must meet a minimum performance level defined by the sponsor, and performance feedback must be provided to the learner for SAMs credit to be awarded.  CME certificates issued to diplomates must clearly indicate if the CME is also SAM eligible.

Physician-Scientist Research Pathway

General Requirements

The ABPath Physician-Scientist Research Pathway is intended for those pathologists who are committed to contributing to new scientific knowledge in basic science, and clinical or translational medicine through a career that will involve funded research. A diplomate may transfer into or out of the pathway at any time without ABPath approval.

A diplomate has until Year 6 of their first 10-Year Cycle in which to report the completion of the PATHway window after training is complete in which to report the completion of the Pathway during an MOC reporting cycle. The completion of the Pathway. The completion of the Pathway may only be reported once.

A research year, like a fellowship year, will meet the Continuing Certification Lifelong Learning and Improvement in Medical Practice requirements (except for peer evaluations) for that reporting period.


Supervision of the diplomate's additional year(s) of research should be the responsibility of a faculty research mentor. An ideal research mentor is a successful investigator with an active research program and peer-reviewed research funding. Establishment of a research review committee that meets at least every six months to provide advice and feedback to the trainee is strongly encouraged. Research may be done at more than one institution, but the experience should have oversight and coordination by a single mentor.

ABPath will not oversee the research training. A diplomate may indicate on their reporting form that they completed one year in the Physician-Scientist Research Pathway, what their research topic was, and the name of their research mentor. The mentor must verify this information and should notify the ABPath if a diplomate did not complete the Research Pathway.

© 2015 The American Board of Pathology. All rights reserved.