The American Board of Pediatrics

In 1933, the American Pediatric Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association formed the American Board of Pediatrics for the purpose of examining and awarding certification to physicians who have superior knowledge in the field of the diseases of childhood.

The ABP awards certificates in the following areas:
  • General Pediatrics
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology-Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonology
  • Rheumatology
  • Child Abuse Pediatrics
The American Board of Pediatrics also awards certificates in conjunction with other specialty boards. Those certificates include:
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Pediatric Transplant Hepatology
  • Neurodevelopment Disabilities
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Sports Medicine

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Advancing child health by certifying pediatricians who meet standards of excellence and are committed to continuous learning and improvement.

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) marked its 60th anniversary in 1993. Because all of the original board members have long since passed from the scene, no one can comment on the Board's origin from firsthand experience, as Chick Koop did so well in his essay on the origins of pediatric surgery. During the first decade of my association with the ABP, however, I heard stories and bits of history from original board members and other early "movers" who were still active in the organization. Written materials were available to me, also, thanks to Borden Veeder, Bob Lawson, Ed Shaw, the ABP history committee chaired by Larry Finberg, and others who wrote about the Board. Over the past few years, an increase in intraoperative and obstetric anaphylactic episodes has been related to rubber exposure. Individuals at high-risk for sensitization to latex include health care workers,1,2 rubber industry professionals,3 and children with spina bifida or congenital urogenital abnormalities who undergo frequent medical procedures.4,5 However, severe reactions have been observed in other subjects.6,7 Therefore, identifying patients at risk for anaphylaxis is essential before performing medical procedures involving rubber exposure.

Recently, similarities in the protein content between natural rubber and several fruits have been found. Those proteins are cross-reactive and may cause severe allergic reactions if the patient comes in contact with rubber products and eats fruit.

  • Received October 27, 1993.
  • Accepted March 9, 1994.

ABP Board Certification

Originally established by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process aims to uphold high standards to enhance patient care, promote ongoing physician learning, and assess clinicians’ knowledge beyond initial certification. In this way, the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) board certification and MOC serve patients, families, and the public through the continuous education and practice improvement of physicians. ABP participates in MOC through a four-part process that includes initial board certification and maintenance of certification, self-assessment, and quality improvement

Continuing education is vital to maintaining your professional standing, measuring quality of care, and advancing your knowledge. A commitment to lifelong learning helps pediatricians provide the best possible patient care.

ABP Board Certification Requirements

Applicants for ABP board certification must meet the following requirements in order to take the General Pediatrics Certifying Examination:

  • Graduation from an accredited medical school
  • Three years of postgraduate pediatric training in accredited programs, where the applicant receives general comprehensive pediatric training and takes on progressively more responsibility in each succeeding year
  • Verification of training by pediatric program directors
  • Proof of licensure: a valid, current, unrestricted license to practice medicine in one of the states, districts or territories of the United States or a province of Canada

The General Pediatrics Certifying Examination is administered annually, and the subspecialty certifying examinations are administered every two years. For information on initial exam dates and testing centers,

ABP Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Four-Part Structure

The ABP and the 24 certifying boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) collaborated to create the maintenance of certification (MOC) process. The ABP’s four-part structure is aligned with the ABMS model of MOC.

  • Part 1 — Professional Standing: Pediatricians must hold a valid, unrestricted medical license.
  • Part 2 — Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment: Pediatricians must assess and build knowledge in practice-relevant areas through activities developed by the ABP and other organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  • Part 3 — Cognitive Expertise/Secure Exam: Pediatricians must pass a secure examination administered at testing centers for initial certification and MOC.
  • Part 4 — Improving Professional Practice: Pediatricians must participate in a range of ABP-approved quality improvement (QI) projects designed to evaluate and improve quality of pediatric patient care.

Through this four-part process, the ABP MOC program assesses the six core competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for general pediatrics and pediatric subspecialties.

Pilot Program: Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics

MOCA-Peds (Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics), a pilot program launched by ABP in 2017, is a shorter, more frequent assessment of pediatric knowledge with a unique learning component available on computers and mobile devices. Registration for this pilot program, now closed, was open to physicians currently maintaining certification in general pediatrics and taking their exam in 2017.

ACGME Core Competencies: The Foundation of Maintenance of Certification

The ACGME Core Competencies are the foundation of ABP board certification and MOC. They are recognized as the standard by which all physicians must practice and have been widely accepted and implemented across all medical education training programs. The ACGME Core Competencies are defined as:

  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Patient Care and Procedural Skills
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Professionalism

Maintaining Your ABP Board Certification:

The platform works with your schedule, adjusts to your strengths and weaknesses, and provides information that is relevant to your practice of pediatric medicine. Our program is guided by the ABP content outline to prepare you for the General Pediatrics initial and MOC exams and enables you to earn your required AMA PRA Category 1 Credits and ABP MOC points. Most important, this easy-to-use program is a solution for lifelong learning that will help you as you strive to provide optimal care for your pediatric patients.

Authentic Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning has been proven to result in better retention, deeper knowledge, and higher test scores. But what is adaptive learning? Why does it help? And how do you tell the difference between experiences that provide true adaptive learning, and those that just claim to be?

What is adaptive learning?

Adaptive learning harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to customize an educational or training experience according to an individual’s needs, goals, and capabilities.

The hallmarks of adaptive learning include the ability to:

  • Provide personalized experiences
  • Measure and adjust to a learner’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Capture user patterns around engagement, timing, and confidence
  • Exercise flexibility based on variations that occur from person to person, but also those that occur within one individual’s experience

All these elements work together in real time, for a continuously evolving, personalized experience for each learner — in an authentic adaptive learning platform, no two users will experience the program in the same way.

What characterizes an authentic adaptive learning experience?

Effectiveness for complex subjects

Adaptive learning is especially effective for complex subjects like medicine. Medical professionals must be able to synthesize a variety of abstract and concrete information across many related areas. Their daily clinical practice, along with the need to maintain certification and prepare for board exams, demands this skill. For a learning platform to be effective for them, it must have a sophisticated algorithm to manage the learning process, as well as a strong base of interconnected knowledge to draw from.

Individual and intrapersonal adaptability

The first step in creating an authentic adaptive learning experience is ensuring flexibility for differences among learners. Research strongly suggests that classifying learners into types, as educators have tried in the past, is virtually impossible. Therefore, it’s more effective for a platform to discern and follow the complex patterns that learners exhibit, than to build static question banks around learning types that most users won’t consistently adhere to.

To account for person-to-person differences, authentic adaptive learning must first learn about each learner. This is accomplished through a battery of questions, with attention paid not only to answers, but how the learner arrives at each answer. How long did it take? Which formats were most successful? Were answers consistent, or did stability erode over time? How does this learner’s performance compare with that of others in the cohort? What gaps does the learner need to fill, in order to meet stated goals?

Now, we go a step further, to account for differences one learner might experience over a period of time. For example, a learner might be fresher in the morning vs. the evening. She might be balancing board prep with an especially a busy time in her practice. He might be using the platform to keep up with recent knowledge while waiting for his child to finish soccer practice. Outside circumstances like these can have an effect on cognitive factors such as concentration and confidence, which affect learning.

The confidence question

Confidence must be carefully balanced to have a positive effect on learning: too little, and a learner gives up and loses the motivation to exert effort; too much, and a learner underestimates the work that needs to be done and loses knowledge. That’s why measuring confidence is a key piece of adaptive learning. This can be done through both automated evaluation (through AI) and learner-directed assessment (through self-reflection).

Algorithms gauge confidence through questions, timing, and other factors. However, reflection is also necessary for learners to understand the shortfall between their knowledge and their assessment of that knowledge. An authentic adaptive learning experience will clarify a learner’s strengths and weaknesses so that the learner may understand and correct them.

Authentic adaptive learning:

  • Continuous assessment of performance and confidence to build knowledge and guard against memory decay
  • Content that was specifically developed to work with the adaptive learning environment, including board review cases and questions
  • Personalized delivery and pacing, enabling learners to focus on areas that need reinforcement
  • Algorithms that are continually refined and improved to monitor and calculate individual performance over time, creating a richer, more tailored learning experience for each user

Focus Modules

The Focus Modules with our Internal Medicine Board Review allow you to brush up on your IM knowledge while earning CME credits and MOC points. Every point you earn for CME also counts as a point towards MOC. Our Internal Medicine Board Review modules cover a curated selection of topics that meet CME and MOC requirements, enabling you to “earn while you learn.”

Internal Medicine CME
Module Topic CME credits available ABIM MOC points available
Allergy/Immunology 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 7 ABIM MOC points
Cardiology 39 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 39 ABIM MOC points
Complex Medical Care 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 10 ABIM MOC points
Dermatology 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 10 ABIM MOC points
Endocrinology 28 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
Gastroenterology 28 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 28 ABIM MOC points
Hematology 19 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 19 ABIM MOC points
Infectious Disease 28 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 28 ABIM MOC points
Nephrology/Urology 19 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 19 ABIM MOC points
Neurology 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 17 ABIM MOC points
OB/GYN 9 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 9 ABIM MOC points
Oncology 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 14 ABIM MOC points
Ophthalmology 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 5 ABIM MOC points
Otolaryngology 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 5 ABIM MOC points
Pain Management and Opioids 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 10 ABIM MOC points
Psychiatry 13 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 13 ABIM MOC points
Pulmonology 27 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 27 ABIM MOC points
Rheumatology 24 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 24 ABIM MOC points
Family Medicine CME
Module Topic CME credits available ABIM MOC points available
Ambulatory Family Medicine 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 20 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Cardiovascular 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 17 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Child and Adolescent Care 35 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 35 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Complex Medical Care 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 5 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Emergency/Urgent Care 21 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 21 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Endocrinology 16 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 16 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Gastrointestinal 18 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 16 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Hematologic/Immune 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 11 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Hospital Medicine 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 17 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Integumentary 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 11 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Maternity Care 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 12 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Musculoskeletal 9 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 9 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Nephrologic/Psychogenic 21 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 21 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Pain Management and Opioids 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 10 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Reproductive 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 4 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Respiratory 15 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 15 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Special Sensory 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 10 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Sports Medicine 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 11 AAFP Prescribed Credits
Women’s Health 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits 12 AAFP Prescribed Credits
REGISTRATION DATES FEES (due at registration with Visa, Master card , or American Express)
Regular Registration (login required) Register from Jan. 15, 2021, until 3 p.m. ET on March 31, 2021 (no exceptions)* $2,265
Late Registration (login required) Register from April 1, 2021, until 3 p.m. ET on May 17, 2021 (no exceptions)* $2,610 ($345 late fee)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the American Board of Pediatrics?

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) is a nonprofit organization that sets standards for certification in pediatrics. This process entails assuring the public that ABP board-certified pediatricians have completed an accredited residency training program, have successfully passed a robust evaluation of pediatric knowledge, and are engaged in maintaining certification through lifelong learning and quality improvement activities. The board accomplishes this goal by evaluating pediatricians to ensure continued competence throughout their careers. Founded in 1933, the ABP is one of the 24 certifying boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). An ABP certificate is recognized throughout the world as a credential signifying a high level of physician competence.

At the time of certification, pediatricians are automatically enrolled in a program to maintain certification. Every five years, they complete a series of activities designed to ensure that they are staying current on medical advances and are actively improving the quality of care their practice or institution provides.

How does ABP evaluate pediatricians?

ABP evaluates pediatricians throughout their careers. First, physicians who have completed an ACGME-accredited training program in general pediatrics or in a pediatric subspecialty take an exam to determine whether they have mastered a strong base of knowledge that equips them to provide a high standard of care. Passing that initial exam earns certification for the physician.

Is board certification required for a pediatrician to practice medicine in the U.S.?

No, board certification is voluntary, but may be required by hospitals, medical centers, and insurance companies for credentialing. To practice medicine, a pediatrician (or any physician) must have a medical license issued by the state or territory in which they work. A medical license sets minimum competency requirements to diagnose and treat patients.

Board certification declares a physician’s expertise in a specialty, like pediatrics. Maintaining board certification provides evidence that a doctor is keeping up with advances in his or her specialty.

More than 110,000 pediatricians in the United States have been certified by the ABP. A pediatrician must be board-certified to be a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Who governs the ABP and where does its financial support come from?

The ABP is governed by a board of directors, comprising 15 members. There are 10 board-certified pediatricians who work in education, research and clinical practice. One subboard chair represents the subspecialities. Two public members are non-physicians knowledgeable about the health and welfare of children and adolescents. Board members serve 6- or 3-year terms. The ABP President and Executive Vice President also are members. Officers, including the board chair, are elected on an annual basis for one-year terms. The ABP Nominating Committee submits candidates for board membership. Support for ABP activities come from fees paid by physicians applying for certification and maintenance of certification. Internally, the board is run by the President and CEO (currently David G. Nichols, MD, MBA) who is appointed by the board of directors. His eight-member senior management team includes experts in such fields as credentialing, examination development/administration, psychometrics, competency-based assessment, quality, finance, information technology, and operations.

What is the purpose of the Maintenance of Certification?

The ABP recognizes that certified pediatricians are knowledgeable and motivated by a desire to provide the best possible care. However, research has uncovered gaps in the quality of health care delivered to children and adults. Pediatricians who participate in MOC learn how to measure quality of care and effectively fill the gaps in their own practice through quality improvement projects or a practice improvement module (PIM). In addition, pediatricians who participate in MOC demonstrate advanced knowledge and a commitment to lifelong learning. In this way, the four-part MOC process assures the public that pediatricians involved in MOC are continually demonstrating clinical competence.