THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PATHOLOGY

A Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

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American Board of Pathology Announces New Certification Requirement for Autopsies

 

August 24, 2020- The American Board of Pathology (ABPath) has announced the new certification requirement for autopsies is now 30 cases, effective immediately. This change is an interim adjustment until the ABPath autopsy requirement can become competency-based with the use of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). The ABPath recognizes that the pathology training curriculum has significantly expanded to include such areas as molecular pathology, informatics, and laboratory management, and therefore reducing the numerical requirement is a reasonable adjustment. The ABPath also recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the number of autopsy cases in some training programs and this adjustment will help those programs.

Using data from a survey of Pathology Residency Program Directors, ABPath determined that 30 cases is a reasonable number for most residents to achieve competence in autopsy performance. The ABPath would like to emphasize that 30 cases is the minimum numerical requirement and that some residents may require more cases to achieve competency. Also, teaching and service obligations may require residents to perform more than 30 cases.

The ABPath would like to emphasize the following current requirements for reporting an autopsy (including shared and medical legal cases) remain unchanged. The applicant must have actively participated in all the following:

1) review of the clinical history and circumstances of death

2) external examination of the body

3) gross dissection, including organ evisceration

4) review of the microscopic (as appropriate to the case) and laboratory findings

5) preparation of a written description of gross and microscopic findings

6) development of an opinion as to the cause of death

7) clinical-pathologic correlation

8) review of the autopsy report with a faculty member.

The ABPath policy on fetal autopsies remains unchanged.

The ABPath policy on shared autopsies:

There is no limit on the number of shared autopsies; no more than two residents can share an autopsy.

Effective July 2021:

 -Some shared autopsies should be conducted by a more experienced resident working with a less experienced resident to promote graduated responsibility.

Effective July 2022:

-The maximum number of limited autopsies (e.g. chest or abdomen only) allowed is five, including single organ autopsies (e.g. brain only, heart only), and cannot be shared.

-The program director will attest in the resident’s final evaluation that they are competent in the performance of autopsies.

 

For additional information, please see the Booklet of Information Appendix A. Autopsy Requirements at www.abpath.org. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at questions@abpath.org.

 

 

 

Remote Exams 3

 

August 5, 2020

We have created a special link on our abpath.org website for the 2020 Primary and Subspecialty remote exam information. This link contains remote exam information including Dates, Practice Tutorial Information and Daily Exam Schedules. More information will be added to the page as it becomes available.

 

Find what you need to know at https://www.abpath.org/index.php/taking-an-examination/2020-remote-exams-dates-instructions-and-daily-schedules

 

You can also navigate to the page as the screenshot shows below:

 

website screenshot

 

 

 

 COVID 19 2020 subspecialty 3

 

Updates for 2020 Subspecialty Exams

 

Subspecialty Exams Dates  August 5, 2020 

 

REmote Announcement 3 

August 5, 2020

An email was sent to subspecialty exam candidates on August 4, 2020 with the administration dates for the Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty Remote Certification Exams and information on the required Practice Tutorial.

Specific exam date assignment(s) will be coming to candidates in the following weeks in a separate email.

All emails were sent to the primary email address candidates have listed in PATHway.

You can find what you need to know at the 2020 Remote Exam link.

Subspecialty Exams Will Be Remote    July 9, 2020

 

July 9, 2020

Due to the ongoing health risks of COVID-19, the ABPath has been working diligently to administer this year’s certification exams remotely. We are pleased to inform you that the ABPath fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty exams will be administered as remote, secure, live tele-proctored exams taken from your home or office. The health and safety of our candidates and staff are our highest priority. No exams will be administered in the Tampa, FL exam center in 2020. When it is safe to do so and for exam security, we anticipate returning to the administration of certification exams in our exam center.

Candidates who were registered for the Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty exams were sent an email and a survey link.

More information will follow in the coming weeks. We know this has been a stressful time and hope that remote exams will allay many of our candidate’s concerns.We greatly appreciate your patience as we finalize the details.

Subspecialty Exam Update -  June 23, 2020 

June 23, 2020

As a follow up to last week’s email, we want to let you know ABPath continues to diligently pursue alternatives for the upcoming Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty exams so that candidates may not have to travel to the exam center in Tampa, Florida. We ask that you do not make airline or hotel reservations at this time. 

Once our plans have been finalized, the schedule for exam administration will likely change from the previously published dates on our website, but exams will not be administered any earlier than currently scheduled. Currently, we do not plan to cancel the Fall Primary or Subspecialty exams; however, this could change.

We appreciate your patience and will notify candidates as soon as we have more information. Thank you.

Exam Update -   June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020

We want to provide you with an update regarding the Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty Exams.

ABPath is currently pursuing alternatives for the administration of the fall exams so that candidates will not have to travel to the exam center in Florida. We understand the concern candidates may have because of the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 being reported in Florida. The health and safety of our candidates and staff are paramount. At this time, we do not plan to cancel the fall Primary or Subspecialty exams; however, this could change. The schedule for exam administration will likely change from the previously published dates on our website.

We are sorry for the uncertainty, stress, and anxiety that many are experiencing. We appreciate your patience and will notify candidates as soon as we have more information.

 

Exam Safety Update  - June 1

June 1, 2020

The ABPath recognizes candidates have questions and concerns about the safety and logistics of administration of the Fall Primary and Subspecialty certification exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This remains an uncertain time. We want to assure our candidates that we are developing a plan to minimize risk and administer the exam as safely as possible. As we finalize these procedures and develop contingency plans, we will continue to monitor recommended federal, state, and institution guidelines.

Your health and well-being, as well as the well-being of those with whom we work is paramount and will always be our priority.

We thank you for your patience and for the important work you are doing for patients and the public during this stressful time. We will notify you with specific information as it becomes available.

Exam Date Adjustments Update  - April 27, 2020

 

April 27, 2020

Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing recommendations, we are adjusting the Subspecialty exam administration dates to provide a safer testing environment for our candidates and ABPath staff. The testing dates for select subspecialty exams have been extended so that we can accommodate candidates at a safer social distance.

You may be assigned to a date that is a day earlier or later than the originally posted testing window and/or it may fall on a weekend day. Your specific date assignment will be posted to your Board Correspondence tab in PATHway in mid-July 2020.

Below is the list of adjusted exam administration dates:

Cytopathology *August 23-27
Neuropathology August 28
Forensic Pathology August 30-31
Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine *September 1-2
Chemical Pathology September 3
Medical Microbiology September 3
Dermatopathology *September 9-11
Molecular Genetic Pathology September 16-17
Pediatric Pathology  September 21
Hematopathology *September 22-25
Clinical Informatics (administered by Prometric) October to be determined

*denotes a change with extended dates

If you decide to cancel and do not wish to take a subspecialty exam in 2020 due to coronavirus COVID-19 concerns, you may cancel and receive a full refund of your exam fee. You must notify us via email at renee@abpath.org prior to your assigned exam date.

We appreciate your understanding as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time. Please contact us if you need assistance or have any questions at renee@abpath.org.

 

 

 

COVID 19 spring fall prim Copy 2

 

 

 

Fall 2020 Primary Exam Dates August 5, 2020 

 

REmote Announcement 3

 

August 5, 2020

An email was sent to subspecialty exam candidates on August 4, 2020 with the administration dates for the Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty Remote Certification Exams and information on the required Practice Tutorial.

Specific exam date assignment(s) will be coming to candidates in the following weeks in a separate email. 

All emails were sent to the primary email address candidates have listed in PATHway.

You can read what you need to know at the 2020 Remote Exam link. 

Fall 2020 Primary Exam Will Be Remote July 9, 2020 

 

July 9, 2020

Due to the ongoing health risks of COVID-19, the ABPath has been working diligently to administer this year’s certification exams remotely. We are pleased to inform you that the ABPath Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty exams will be administered as remote, secure, live tele-proctored exams taken from your home or office. The health and safety of our candidates and staff are our highest priority. No exams will be administered in the Tampa, FL exam center in 2020. When it is safe to do so and for exam security, we anticipate returning to the administration of certification exams in our exam center.

Candidates who were registered for the Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty exams were sent an email and a survey link.

More information will follow in the coming weeks. We know this has been a stressful time and hope that remote exams will allay many of our candidate’s concerns. We greatly appreciate your patience as we finalize the details.

Fall 2020 Primary Exam Update June 23, 2020 

June 23, 2020

As a follow up to last week’s email, we want to let you know ABPath continues to diligently pursue alternatives for the upcoming Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty exams so that candidates may not have to travel to the exam center in Tampa, Florida. We ask that you do not make airline or hotel reservations at this time.

Once our plans have been finalized, the schedule for exam administration will likely change from the previously published dates on our website, but exams will not be administered any earlier than currently scheduled. Currently, we do not plan to cancel the Fall Primary or Subspecialty exams; however, this could change.

We appreciate your patience and will notify candidates as soon as we have more information. Thank you.

Fall 2020 Primary Exam Update June 19, 2020 

June 19, 2020

We want to provide you with an update regarding the Fall 2020 Primary and Subspecialty Exams.

ABPath is currently pursuing alternatives for the administration of the fall exams so that candidates will not have to travel to the exam center in Florida. We understand the concern candidates may have because of the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 being reported in Florida. The health and safety of our candidates and staff are paramount. At this time, we do not plan to cancel the fall Primary or Subspecialty exams; however, this could change. The schedule for exam administration will likely change from the previously published dates on our website.

We are sorry for the uncertainty, stress, and anxiety that many are experiencing. We appreciate your patience and will notify candidates as soon as we have more information.

Fall 2020 Primary Exam Update June 1, 2020 

June 1, 2020

The ABPath recognizes candidates have questions and concerns about the safety and logistics of administration of the Fall Primary and Subspecialty certification exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This remains an uncertain time. We want to assure our candidates that we are developing a plan to minimize risk and administer the exam as safely as possible. As we finalize these procedures and develop contingency plans, we will continue to monitor recommended federal, state, and institution guidelines.

Your health and well-being, as well as the well-being of those with whom we work is paramount and will always be our priority.

We thank you for your patience and for the important work you are doing for patients and the public during this stressful time. We will notify you with specific information as it becomes available.

 

Schedule Update- Fall 2020 Primary Exam May 8, 2020

The following email was sent to exam candidates on May 7, 2020.

May 8, 2020

Good morning,

We want to provide you with an update on the accommodations we are making for the Fall 2020 Primary Certification Examination. As you know, we made the difficult decision to cancel the Spring 2020 examinations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All candidates for the Spring 2020 examination have been transferred to the Fall 2020 session, unless they have cancelled for the Fall exam.

The health and safety of our candidates and our staff are our priority; therefore, we have made changes for the administration of the Fall 2020 Primary examination to accommodate for social distancing whether or not they are still mandated.

1. The Fall 2020 exam will be administered following 6-foot social distancing in the exam center. Only 35 candidates will be seated in the exam center each day, with a candidate seated in every other cubicle. When exam date assignments are posted you will be provided further instruction for entering the exam center.

2. The Fall 2020 exam dates will begin October 5, 2020, one week earlier than previously posted, with the anticipated last day of exams to be November 14, 2020. These dates will include administering the exam during weekends to ensure that all candidates are tested in a timely manner.

We will continue to monitor CDC, state and county guidelines and recommendations. Please contact us at mary@abpath.org if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Rebecca L. Johnson, MD
Chief Executive Officer
American Board of Pathology

 

Transfer of Spring 2020 Primary Exam candidates to Fall April 10, 2020

 

April 10, 2020

 We hope you are all doing well and staying safe. Here is an update regarding the cancellation of the Spring 2020 Primary exam. 

The ABPath will automatically transfer your Spring 2020 exam registration to the Fall 2020 exam session. You are not required to take any further action at this time.

• If you do not want to take the exam during the Fall 2020 session, you must cancel by May 1, 2020 by email to mary@abpath.org. You will receive a full refund of your exam fee.

• The transfer of registrations will begin after May 4; this may take several weeks to complete.

• You will then be sent an email confirming that you are registered for the Fall 2020 exam.

Check that the exam registration is correct. If not, contact mary@abpath.org immediately.

• Ensure that your email and mailing address are current in PATHway. 

Date Assignments:

• Your assigned exam dates will be posted in your PATHway account the week of August 10. You will be notified by email when the dates are available to view on your PATHway Board Correspondence screen.

• The examination will only be administered at the ABPath examination center in Tampa, FL. The American Board of Radiology exam center in Tucson, AZ is not available.

• The exams will begin on October 12 and will be administered until all who are registered have taken the exam. The completion of exams is expected by November 13. The exam center is not available any sooner because of the contractual obligations we have with other boards. *Please note some exam dates may fall on weekend days to ensure all candidates are tested.

• If the date that you are assigned is unacceptable, you may cancel by emailing mary@abpath.org. Because of COVID-19, you will receive a full refund of your fee; however, you must cancel before the date assigned to you.

If you were planning to take a Subspecialty examination this Fall:

• ABPath is making a one-time exception to policy that will allow candidates who have completed ACGME subspecialty fellowship training to apply for and take 2020 Subspecialty exams prior to passing the primary exam. The deadline to apply for a subspecialty exam is May 15, 2020.

• Your subspecialty examination results will be placed in a Withhold Results status. The results of your subspecialty exam will not be released to you until you achieve primary certification.

• You will have until 2022 (2 years) to become certified in AP and/or CP. If you do not achieve primary certification before the end of 2022, the subspecialty examination results will be declared null and void. You will be required to retake the subspecialty exam again and only after you have achieved primary certification.

• If your period of board eligibility for primary certification ends prior to 2022, your subspecialty examination results will become null and void at that time. 

We appreciate your understanding during this difficult time as schedules are being readjusted. We will continue to provide updates and keep you informed. Please contact us if you have any questions.

 


Spring 2020 Primary Exam Cancellation April 2, 2020

 Updated April 02, 2020 

Spring Primary Examination Cancellation

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Spring 2020 Primary APCP examinations. Our greatest concern is for the health and safety of our candidates, staff, and the public. Currently, Florida has issued a “stay-at-home” order and projections indicate that the pandemic will not be over any time soon.

All spring exam candidates will be accommodated during the Fall 2020 Primary exam session that will begin on October 12, 2020, at the ABPath examination center in Tampa, Fl. More details and specific date and deadline information will be provided next week, as we continue to plan for this disruption in our schedule.

If you choose to cancel from the Spring Primary examination and do not wish to be reassigned to the Fall Primary examination session, please email mary@abpath.org by May 1, 2020 to cancel. You will receive a full refund of your exam fee.

 

If you were planning to take a Subspecialty examination this fall, ABPath is making a temporary exception to policy that will allow candidates to apply for and take subspecialty exams prior to passing the primary exam. The subspecialty examination results will be placed in a Withhold Results status, which means that the results of your subspecialty exam will not be released to you until you are successful in the primary exam.

 

We know that some of you are relieved and some of you are disappointed with this decision. We recognize the significant time and effort that you have put into preparing for certification and the stress that everyone is experiencing. These are unprecedented times.

We wish you to stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Pyfrom at mary@abpath.org.


Spring 2020 Primary Exam Update and Rationale March 27, 2020

 

Updated March 27, 2020   The American Board of Pathology (ABPath) is closely monitoring the status of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and will provide updates by email and on the ABPath website, abpath.org.

 

The following email was sent on March 27, 2020 to candidates that have applied for the Spring 2020 Primary examination.

 

Good afternoon,

We realize that delaying the Spring 2020 APCP examinations for the health and safety of all during the COVID-19 pandemic has added stress to an already uncertain time. We continue to monitor the CDC recommendations and will follow their guidelines. We are sensitive to your concerns and want to provide this additional information.

• If the Spring examination will be cancelled, that decision will be made by April 13.

• If the Spring examination is cancelled, it will be administered during the Fall 2020 session beginning in October and given until all candidates have taken the exam.

• If the exam is not cancelled, we will begin exams on June 1 and administer them until all candidates have taken the exam. We anticipate that exams will be completed by the end of June. Date assignments will be emailed to candidates the week of April 13. If you applied to take the exam in Tucson, AZ, that exam center is no longer available and you will be assigned to take the exam in Tampa, FL during the week of June 8.

• You may cancel from the exam anytime and for any reason up to your assigned date with no penalties; please email mary@abpath.org. Your full fee can be refunded or transferred for the Fall 2020 examination.

Candidates have asked if the examination can be given online or remotely. Remote testing is not an option for our initial certification examinations. Here are some of the reasons:

• ABPath cannot use commercial testing centers because we still use glass slides and virtual microscopy (VM) questions on the AP exam.

• Testing centers do not have the viewing software for VM and would not pay the licensing fees for so many centers.

• For the CP exam, we previously had discussions with commercial testing centers. They will not guarantee the quality/resolution of their computer monitors, and our exam questions use many images.

• Commercial exam centers have closed during this public health emergency, so no boards are able to use them. Even if that was an option for CP, it is too late to contract and get a window of time for administration. They fill months in advance and with closure, will likely be filled for the next year.

• While we have done remote, secure testing for the Continuing Certification exam, that is not considered as high stakes as initial certifying exams. There is an unacceptable risk of question security with remote testing.

Certification matters and is a valuable credential with meaning to our diplomates, the profession, and the public, therefore, we must maintain the integrity of the certification process. Thank you for your understanding in these uncertain times.

We will keep the Announcements section of our homepage and social media current with any updates. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at mary@abpath.org.

Have a good weekend and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Rebecca L. Johnson, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer



Spring 2020 Primary Exam Rescheduled March 23, 2020

Updated March 23, 2020

The Spring 2020 Anatomic and Clinical Pathology certification exams have been rescheduled.

We are delaying the start of exams until June 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All examinations will be given in the Tampa examination center; Tucson is no longer an option. If a candidate applied for the Tucson, AZ location, they will be reassigned to Tampa, FL.

• Exam date assignments will be sent to candidates the week of April 13th, giving them time to make travel arrangements.
• ABPath will do our best to ensure those who registered for the Tucson location are assigned to take their examination within the week of June 8th, if possible.
• If a candidate is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19, they must not appear for the examination and notify us to cancel.
• If a candidate has any restrictions or concerns at all about travel and their health, we encourage them to cancel.
• There is no penalty for cancellation, and candidates will receive a full refund of their examination fee or can have their examination fee apply to the fall exam held in Tampa, FL.
• To cancel the exam or transfer the fee to the Fall 2020 primary exam, candidates should email mary@abpath.org

The ABPath will continue to monitor the CDC recommendations and the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a time of great uncertainty. At some point, the ABPath may need to cancel the examination to protect the health and safety of our candidates, volunteers, and staff. We will keep you posted.

We know that candidates have spent considerable time preparing for this exam; however their safety and well-being are our primary concern.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you need assistance, please contact mary@abpath.org.

 

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