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 the ABP 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 Part II and Part IV requirements (except for peer evaluations)  for that 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 the ABP 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.








2014-2015 or 2015-2016

2015-2016 or 2016-2017

2016-2017 or 2017-2018

2017-2018 or 2018-2019

2018-2019 or 2019-2020

2019-2020 or 2020-2021

2020-2021 or 2021-2022

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

  • Each diplomate must obtain a minimum of 70 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits for each two-year period of the MOC cycle.  At least 20 of the 70 CME credits must be obtained from completion of self-assessment modules (SAMs).
  • Diplomates may claim credit for sixty (60) AMA Category 1 CME credits for successfully completing an ABMS board certification or a 10-year MOC cycle.  To claim credit, the diplomate must apply directly to the AMA and provide documentation (a copy of the board certificate or the MOC notification of cycle completion letter).  Information and the direct credit application can be found on the AMA website.
  • 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.).
  • Any educational provider who wishes to offer SAM eligible CME must be approved by the ABP.  The ABP approves SAMs providers and not the individual educational activities being offered.  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.
  • The term “SAM” was developed by the ABP and is not recognized as a unique type of CME by the ACCME. Since all SAMs must be AMA Category 1 CME, a diplomate may use SAMs to satisfy CME requirements for licensure, etc., as well as the requirements of the ABP MOC program.
  • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Accredited Group Learning (Section 1) credits in General Pathology are accepted as equivalent to AMA Category 1 CME credits for meeting MOC Part II requirements.  RCPSC Assessment (Section 3) credits are accepted as equivalent to SAM credits for meeting MOC Part II The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Category 1A CME are acceptable as CME credits for meeting MOC Part II requirements.
  • In the event that a diplomate cannot find an adequate number of SAMs in his/her specialty offered by ABP-approved providers, the diplomate may be allowed to take self-assessment activities from other CME providers, such as other ABMS member boards.  These activities must meet the SAMs requirements as listed above.  Each individual case must be reviewed and approved by the ABP Chief Executive Officer or Chair of the MOC Committee.
  • The ABP reserves the right to audit a diplomate’s CME data and require copies of CME and SAMs completion certificates.
  • Diplomates who are not current in reporting CME/SAM activities will not be allowed to sit for the MOC Part III examination or for any additional primary or subspecialty exams.

Physician Scientist Research Pathway

General Requirements

  • The ABP 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. Diplomates may enter the Physician-Scientist Research Pathway following the completion of a subspecialty fellowship.
  • A diplomate may transfer into or out of the pathway at any time without ABP approval. Training programs do not need ABP approval or notification to offer this pathway; however, a program will be asked to provide information regarding candidates completing this program for purposes of tracking and outcomes assessment.
  • Current ABP graduate medical education (GME) training requirements allow for up to six months of research during core training. Diplomates in the Physician-Scientist Research Pathway must complete at least one additional year of research. Research is defined as scholarly activities expected to develop and contribute to generalizable knowledge, typically involving grants supporting the activities, and may include basic science, clinical, or translational research. Diplomates may complete additional years of research, depending on their institution, and are encouraged to do so, especially if they wish to seriously pursue a career in basic science or clinical research. ACGME Program Requirements must be followed during the six months of research that is part of the required core GME training; however the additional research time is not subject to ACGME Program Requirements. All additional research time must occur in blocks of at least six months and should be protected by not being commingled with substantial clinical training. Diplomates are encouraged to complete their core training prior to their research year(s) and to become ABP certified as soon as they are eligible.
  • A diplomate has a five-year window after training is complete in which to report the completion of the Pathway during an MOC reporting cycle. The completion of the Pathway may only be reported once.
  • A research year, like a fellowship year, will meet the Maintenance of Certification Part II and Part IV requirements (except for peer evaluations) for that period of the MOC cycle.


  • Supervision of the trainee’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.
  • The ABP will not oversee the research training. A diplomate must indicate on their reporting form that they are in the Physician-Scientist Research Pathway, 8 what their research topic is, and the name of their research mentor. The mentor must verify this information. The mentor should notify the ABP if a diplomate does not complete the Research Pathway.

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