III. Requirements for Application:
Candidates wishing to become Diplomates of the Board must complete a formal written application, which will be furnished by the ABNM on the ABNM website. To apply, a candidate must provide and meet all of the following requirements:
(1) a complete, up to date curriculum vitae or resume.
(2) posses a minimum of an earned doctoral degree in a physical science, life science or clinical allied health profession from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the World Health Organization in the case of foreign medical graduates. Furthermore, effective for ABNM examinations after January 1st, 2012, to require applicants with foreign Medical or foreign Doctoral degrees to have provided documentation of US education equivalence. Applicants holding foreign Medical or Doctoral degrees (as appropriate) must provide documentation such as a Certificate of the USMLE Step 1, or, a Certificate of primary-source credential verification such as provided by the EICS (ECFMG International Credentialing Services), or, a certified Evaluation of a foreign educational program such as provided by the AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers), or, documentation from an equivalent verification service, that validates the foreign Doctoral degree program as having met equivalent standards and curriculum content compared to the USA. On-line doctoral degrees will not be accepted. Proof of the degree i.e., a copy of the original degree or diploma must be provided with the application.
(3) successful completion of two separate graduate level courses, one in neuroanatomy and one in neurophysiology, from an accredited institution with a passing grade. All ABNM required coursework must be taken in class or as an ABNM-approved distance learning course. At time of writing, there are no ABNM approved distance learning courses. Evidence of this information in the form of an official transcript from the issuing institution must be provided with each application. The transcript must identify each course by name as neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. In the case of courses that have a different name, the applicant must complete a request for course equivalence that is a component of the ABNM application checklist and provide the required documentation of the complete course syllabus, complete class schedule, number of academic credits and course faculty. This required documentation must be in print form and must be included in the application packet and be received at PTC by the application deadline.
(4) submit a log of a minimum of 300 cases monitored with the primary responsibility for professional interpretation and technical supervision, 100 cases in which the applicant physically performed the majority of the technical aspects of monitoring. This list must contain the date of each procedure, the type of surgery, the name of the responsible surgeon and the hospital where each procedure was undertaken. The log also needs to indicate which cases were physically performed. Logs submitted with any patient information included will be immediately disqualified.
(5) have at least thirty six months experience in the field of neurophysiologic monitoring as documented in the case log; the dates of the log must reflect work performed over a minimum of any 36 months with at least 1 case being monitored per month.
(6) provide statements from two attending surgeons capable of attesting to the applicant’s experience and expertise. The Review Committee of the Board, at its discretion, may require additional letters of support.
(7) provide a completed statement from a qualifying, Training Neurophysiologist describing the training in the interpretation of neurophysiological data provided to the applicant during the applicant’s three years experience, or, the required 300 cases. A qualifying Training Neurophysiologist is either an individual with Board Certification from the American Board of Neurophysiologic Monitoring (ABNM) or, a licensed physician who is Board Certified in Neurology (ABPN), Clinical Neurophysiology (ABCN) or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR), or, by another medical Board specialty deemed appropriate by this board. A licensed physician who is Board certified in Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, must submit their Curriculum Vitae and proof of Board Certification with the statement. A licensed physician certified by a Board other than Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology or, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, may be considered to be eligible to qualify as a Training Neurophysiologist by submitting their Curriculum Vitae, proof of Board Certification, and documentation of their training and experience in clinical neurophysiology, with the Statement. In all cases, the Training Neurophysiologist must provide evidence of a minimum of 3 years experience in intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) including at least 2 years of supervisory experience in IONM. An individual who functions in the capacity of a “reading neurologist”, or “billing provider” or “remote neurologist” or any similar capacity and who otherwise has not provided training to the applicant in the interpretation of neurophysiological data, does not qualify to be the applicant’s Training Neurophysiologist. Finally, the statement from the Training Neurophysiologist must attest to the fact that the Training Neurophysiologist conducted training of the applicant in person and in the operating room and that none of this training was provided either indirectly or remotely or on-line. The form to be used for this statement from a qualifying, Training Neurophysiologist is provided with the application form and must be completed by the Training Neurophysiologist and returned directly to the applicant and included in the application packet submitted to the testing service by the application deadline. Acceptance of the Training Neurophysiologist’s statement will be at the discretion of the Board and must occur for the applicant’s application to be deemed complete. Applicants may provide official statements from multiple Training Neurophysiologists.
(8) the current application and examination fee.
(9) a completed ABNM application checklist (in Application Materials) signed and dated by the applicant.
(10) be in good standing with the ABNM and in compliance with all ABNM Policies and Procedures for Ethics and Professionalism.
All material submitted with every complete application packet will be formally reviewed by the Review Committee and a recommendation concerning eligibility made to the Chairman of the Board.
There were specific reasons for each of these criteria that revolved around the aspect of professional development and experience. The acquisition of an advanced doctoral degree indicates the demonstration of cognitive, analytic and data interpretational skills and the mastery of an advanced knowledge base that distinguishes the individual at a professional level. Since most candidates will not have completed a recognizable training program in neurophysiological monitoring that can certify the individual's competence in the field, the criteria developed for the Training Neurophysiologist will serve as a substitute (i.e. direct training by a qualified and experienced Training Neurophysiologist as well as peer recognition of competence through participation in monitoring teams). The Board decided to approach this peer recognition using documentation of substantial experience in monitoring with the recognition that a sufficient case load should signal professional growth and maturation in the skills necessary for monitoring. The attestation statement of two surgeons is used to confirm the level of professional maturation by this experience. This is congruent with the only published evidence that relates to competency that shows case experience correlates positively with patient outcome. As such, a minimum of 300 cases for which they had personally interpreted neurophysiological data is required with the additional requirement that their experience extended over a minimum of thirty six months. The Board’s requirement for in person training by a qualified and experienced neurophysiologist is intended to facilitate interaction, training, education and mentorship to assure that some component of the applicant’s training was received from a qualified individual.
Upon acceptance of a candidate's application to become a Diplomate of the Board, the Board or its authorized agent will notify the candidate that their application has been approved and furnish a list of the times and places of the next two scheduled written and oral ABNM examinations for such certification. Proof of such approval shall be required for the candidate to register to sit for the examination. Any and all questions concerning eligibility should be made directly to the Chairman of the ABNM Board.