Anesthesiology Eligibility Requirements

Updated March 2021

To be eligible for certification in Anesthesiology through the Board of Certification in Anesthesiology (BCA), the applicant must:

ABPS General Requirements:

  1. Be in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the American Board of Physician Specialties, be known in his/her community as an ethical member of the profession, and be an active specialist in Anesthesiology.
  2. Be a graduate of a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine. International graduates must also hold a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.
  3. Hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.

Anesthesiology Training and Experience:

  1. Residency – All applicants must have completed both a PGY-1 program or accredited internship and an Anesthesiology residency program approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or the the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). The ABPS accepts ALL medical residencies approved by the RCPSC, including approved residencies outside Canada.
  2. Active Practice Verify active practice by means of a letter on facility letterhead detailing active privileges, the period of service, and signed by of the Chief of Department, Chief of Staff, or Chair of Credentialing Committee.
  3. Continuing Education – Submit documentation of a minimum of 30 hours of continuing medical education (CME) in Anesthesia earned within the last two years from the date of application. The ABPS CME form should be used to summarize the CME and can be download here. CME reported must be documented by copies of the CME certificates or a transcript from the granting organization. For applicants within two years of residency completion at the date of application submission, no CME is required.
  4. Case Reports – Submit 10 anesthesia case reports. Case reports must include the anesthesia record sheet from the chart, as well as meeting the other requirements listed in the Case Report Requirements detailed below. Case reports must be no older than twelve (12) months from the date the candidate’s application for certification is received by ABPS. To view sample case reports, click here and click here.

Additional Application Requirements:

  1. Provide two (2) Letters of Recommendation from Diplomates of any ABPS, ABMS, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC Board of Certification. All letters of recommendation must be signed by the author, printed on letterhead, dated within the twelve month period just  prior to the submission of the application, and must include author contact and board certification information.
  2. All U.S. physicians must perform a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submit the report. Get your self-query report at www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov. All Canadian physicians must request a Testament Statement from each province in which a license is held verifying that there have been no disciplinary actions against the applicant.
  3. Submit a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order.

Case Report Requirements:

Case reports must be carefully prepared as they are subjected to detailed scrutiny. Reports should be accurate, well written, diversified, and properly descriptive. The BCA Credentials Committee reserves the right to seek additional details for any case it deems necessary. Case reports not meeting the requirements described below will not be accepted, resulting in an incomplete application. 

Applicants must submit 10 case reports in the following format:

  1. Case reports must be typewritten.
  2. Case reports must be double-spaced on standard 8.5″ x 11″ white paper.
  3. The applicant must sign each case report.
  4. An index shall be placed at the front of the reports indicating the type of case (diagnosis) and the page number on which the case can be found. To view index and verification form, click here.
  5. Confirmation of the validity of the reports by hospital administrator, medical records director, or whoever performs such duties at the facility, verifying that you were the physician treating the patient in each case on the date stated. If the applicant’s cases reflect work at more than one institution, then separate letters must be submitted verifying the cases from each institution. This validation must be notarized and signed. (Refer to index and verification form.)
  6. Case reports shall contain the following information:
    1. For patient #, list the same number as the case number (refer to sample index and verification form.)
    2. Date of admission and date of discharge
    3. Pre-op diagnosis
    4. Post-op diagnosis
    5. Patient history
    6. Physical and laboratory findings
    7. Anesthesia management plan
    8. Case summary – Summarization of the important facts regarding the case acts as the most essential part of the case report and must describe the case to convey to the BCA Credentials Committee the vital facts of the diagnosis, care, end results obtained, etc.
  7. Candidates must submit a wide variety of cases that illustrate the candidate’s breadth of anesthesia knowledge and capabilities.

The final decision as to whether or not the submissions are acceptable lies within the total discretion of the BCA Credentialing Committee.

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine