The American Board of Pathology (ABPath), as one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), is committed to continuous professional development through its Continuing Certification (CC) Program. CC assists physicians in maintaining standards necessary for them to provide quality care throughout their careers. CC assures that the physician is committed to lifelong learning and competency in pathology. It requires ongoing measurement of the six competencies adopted by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the ABMS to ensure that all aspects of practice are evaluated and outcomes are measured.
ABMS has incorporated assessment of these six competencies into the CC program. The six competencies are:
Diplomates issued certificates after 1/1/2006 are automatically enrolled in the program. Diplomates with non-time limited (lifetime) certificates issued prior to 1/1/2006 may voluntarily enroll in the CC Program at any time. All Trustees and Chief Executive Officer of ABPath are participating voluntarily in the CC Program.
Participating in the CC Program is done via PATHway. PATHway is the online platform uses to connect the board and pathologists. CC Program progress and participation is tracked on the CC Program and Board Correspondence pages in PATHway.
Reporting forms must be submitted every two years. All assigned ABPath CertLink© (ABPCL) questions must be completed each quarter. Both reporting forms and ABPCL cover all certifications in the CC Program.
A diplomate issued a primary certificate (AP/CP, AP only, CP only, or AP/NP) after 1/1/2006 must maintain their primary certificate in order to maintain any ABPath subspecialty certifications.
Each diplomate is assessed an annual fee of $150 for the establishment and maintenance of an electronic record of certification. The fee is per physician (not per certificate) and is assessed annually. The first payment is due the year following CC Program enrollment.
Through 2020 the annual fee was $50. Beginning in 2021 the annual fee increased to $150.
Diplomates are expected to remain current in their participation in the CC Program by satisfactorily completing all CC requirements and meeting all CC deadlines. CC Program participation is reported with verification of certification.
Please see the Meeting CC Requirements Late page for information related to late or non-participation in the CC Program.
Although ABPath does not require diplomates with non-time limited certificates to participate in CC, it strongly encourages them to do so. Voluntary participation can be for ABPath CertLink© (ABPCL) only, or the entire CC Program. To voluntarily enroll a diplomate should view their CC Program page in PATHway. Participation in any element of the CC Program by these diplomates does not affect lifetime certification(s) and cannot put their original certificate(s) in jeopardy of expiration.
As of July 2013, the ABPath’s Voluntary Recertification program is no longer available. A diplomate with a non-time limited (lifetime) certificate who wants to take a secure examination for licensure requirements must do so through the CC program.
Diplomates of ABPath are required to accurately state their certification status in curriculum vitae, publications, directories, letterheads, etc. A diplomate whose certificate has expired must not claim to be board certified, and all descriptions of certification status must be modified accordingly. If an individual represents that he/she is certified by ABPath when such is not the case, ABPath will notify appropriate authorities, including, but not limited to, credentialing agencies, licensing boards, and law enforcement agencies.