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A Fresh Start!


Neurological surgeons who have time-limited 10-year certificates will continue to qualify for renewal of their certificate at the end of their respective 10-year cycles if they participate in the annual CC program. Given the substantial changes to the program, neurological surgeons who have not yet completed various staged requirements from 2018 or prior years will be discharged from those requirements and will be given a fresh start in 2019 with the new CC program. These neurological surgeons must pay any past-due fee balances owed to the ABNS before participating in the new annual CC program.

Neurosurgeons who have lifetime certificates are strongly encouraged (but not required) to participate in the new CC program. We believe the redesigned program, including the annual adaptive learning tool and modules, will prove to be valuable to the continuing education and practice of all ABNS certified neurological surgeons. Only those neurological surgeons who actively participate in CC will be listed on the ABNS website as “participating in continuous certification” and may present themselves as participants to the public (as well as to hospitals, payors and malpractice carriers).

Participation in this program satisfies the American College of Surgeons (“ACS”) criteria for a neurological surgeon to participate in Level 1 ACS accredited trauma centers. 


Setting Quality Standards for Physicians: Response to Proposed Maryland Legislation regarding CC

  • A competing certifying board, the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS), recently introduced legislation in Maryland that would make it easier for other, non-ABMS certifying boards to be recognized.  The bill also would prohibit hospitals, health plans and others from considering – as part of their credentialing processes – whether or not a physician is participating in continuous certification (CC).  The NBPAS asked the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide its views.
  • DOJ concluded that individual hospitals, health plans and others should be free to decide what is and is not important and should continue to have the right to require participation in CC as a necessary credential.
  • DOJ also indicated that it supports the right of non-member ABMS boards to offer certification programs to foster competition.  The ABNS and the ABMS share this view – we have no concern with other boards offering competing certification programs, if they are transparent about their certification requirements and processes, so the public can gauge which certification programs are meaningful and which are not.   The ABNS has been certifying neurological surgeons for nearly 80 years and we are confident that our rigorous certification requirements and processes, which we constantly evaluate and refine, will remain the “gold standard.”
  • The ABNS’ CC program is constantly being refined to make it more meaningful and less burdensome on our diplomates.
  • The ABMS has issued a statement regarding the proposed Maryland legislation and DOJ’s expressed views, which can be accessed by clicking on the link below.  The ABNS concurs with and supports the ABMS’ position.


 ABMS: Statement on the U.S. Department of Justice Response Letter Regarding Proposed Maryland Legislation to Restrict Hospital and Health Plans Right to Set Quality Standards for Physicians

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