Level 2

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning Level 2 Overview

Lifelong Learning

Beginning in 2018, those doctors who became subspecialty certified entered a process of Lifelong Learning (LLL). The Lifelong Learning Program is designed to evaluate the continued competence of a Diplomate.

The Lifelong Learning Program is a continual developing process and thus the requirements may change as mandated by the ABMS.

All subspecialty certificates issued by the American Board of Urology are time limited and subject to the Lifelong Learning Program (LLL). They are valid for 10 years only and will expire on the anniversary of the date of issue.

If a Diplomate earns a subspecialty certificate, the original urology certificate will be extended to have the same expiration date as the subspecialty certificate. The Diplomate will enter the Lifelong Learning Program as of completion of subspecialty certification, and will be required to complete all components on that timeline.

The LLL process will extend over a ten year period, with requirements in the program to be completed at year 2 through 5 (Level 1) and year 7, 8 or 9 (Level 2) of a diplomates ten year certification cycle. A chart showing the requirements appears on the last page of the Lifelong Learning handbook. Diplomates will be required to complete self-assessment programs developed by the Board, meet continuing medical education requirements, and submit practice logs at Level 2 as part of this process. Successful completion of an knowledge assessment will be required within the three year period prior to expiration of the Diplomate’s certification

 

The 2024 Lifelong Leaning Knowledge Assessments (Pediatric and URPS) dates are October 4, 5, or 8, 2024.

Schedule and Fees

There is an Annual Certificate Fee to streamline and replace all Recertification and Lifelong Learning (LLL) fees. The Annual Certificate Fee, payable by April 1, is charged to every ABU Diplomate who certified after 1985.

Application Documents

Application documents for Lifelong Learning Level 2 Pediatric Subspecialty can be accessed via the ABU Diplomate Portal


2024 L2 PEDS Handbook

2024 L2 PEDS CME Instructions

2024 L2 PEDS Electronic Log Instructions

2024 L2 PEDS Electronic Log Template


Application documents for Lifelong Learning Level 2 Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery (URPS) can be accessed via the ABU Diplomate Portal.

2024 L2 URPS Handbook

2024 L2 URPS CME Instructions

2024 L2 URPS Electronic Log Instructions

2024 L2 URPS Elecronic Log Template

2024 L2 URPS Procedure Codes List

Knowledge Assessment

The knowledge assessment portion of the Lifelong Learning Program will not be used as a primary single metric that influences certificate status but rather to help the diplomate to identify those areas of strength versus weakness in their medical knowledge, knowledge that is pertinent to their practice. To that end we will continue the modular format for the Lifelong Learning knowledge assessment. The knowledge assessment will be based on Criterion referencing, thus allowing the identification of two groups, those who unconditionally pass the knowledge assessment and those who are given a conditional pass. The group getting a conditional pass will consist of those individuals who score in the band of one standard error of measurement above the pass point down to the lowest score. That group would be required to complete additional CME in the areas where they demonstrate low scores. After completion of the designated CME activity, they would continue in the Lifelong Learning process and the condition of their pass would be lifted.

We ask and strongly suggest that the LLL Knowledge Assessment be done at year 7 of the 10-year cycle. This allows ample time for remediation to be accomplished when assigned. While during the integration years of this new scoring paradigm we have been liberal with the issuance of variances to keep certificates from expiring while remediation is accomplished. However, going forward we will not have the flexibility and thus delaying taking the Knowledge Assessment into years 8 or particularly 9 may turn the assessment into a result that is binary and thus “high stakes.” Please keep in mind that the goal of the ABU with using the Knowledge Assessment scoring paradigm is to assist our Diplomates with identifying their knowledge gaps and not to have an adverse effect on their certification. Those electing to not take advantage of the three opportunities to take the knowledge assessment would risk the possibility of their certificates expiring before the knowledge assessment is either unconditionally passed or conditionally passed with the conditions lifted on completing the assigned CME.

Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery (URPS) Subspecialty

Female Pelvic MedicineAll URPS Subspecialty certificates issued by the American Board of Urology are valid for ten years and are subject to the Lifelong Learning Program. The expiration date of the Diplomate’s active general certificate will be extended to coincide with the expiration of the subspecialty certificate. The Diplomate will enter LLL upon successful attainment of the subspecialty certification.

The Diplomate who chooses to maintain certification in the subspecialty of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery Subspecialty will be held to the same standard and rigor required for initial certification. The components required for Level 2 URPS include submission of an online application, satisfactory peer review, completion and documentation of 30 URPS urology-focused Category 1 CME credits in the three years prior to the deadline, completion of a PAP, completion of a Patient Safety Module (PSM), submission of a twelve month practice log and a knowledge assessment. The practice log must contain an adequate number of URPS surgery cases within index case categories, as designated by the Board (please see the URPS Index Case List.) Additionally, each log will be reviewed by the URPS Committee to ensure a demonstrated practice in URPS of sufficient breadth and complexity as expected of a subspecialist in this field. Included is a list of the codes for index categories with applicable procedure numbers within each index category.

The Lifelong Learning URPS Subspecialty knowledge assessment is a 125 multiple choice question assessment designed to assess knowledge of the field of URPS urology. The Lifelong Learning URPS Subspecialty knowledge assessment is a 125 multiple choice question examination composed of 45 core urology questions and 80 Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery questions. The four-hour test is designed to assess knowledge in the field of URPS. 

The Diplomate who chooses to maintain certification in the subspecialty of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery will be required to submit an online application.  As part of the application process, the diplomate must submit the following: satisfactory peer review, completion and documentation of 30 URPS urology-focused Category 1 CME credits in the three years prior to the deadline, completion of a PAP, completion of a Patient Safety Module (PSM), and a twelve-month practice log.  Each log will be reviewed by the FPM-RS Committee to ensure a demonstrated practice in FPM-RS of sufficient breadth and complexity as expected of a subspecialist in this field.  Once these items are completed, the candidate will be permitted to complete a knowledge assessment examination. Diplomates whose practice log is not favorably reviewed, and those whose practice is devoted to men exclusively will not be permitted to maintain certification in URPS and will revert back to Urology certification.


The URPS knowledge assessment will include all aspects of URPS.

Pediatric Subspecialty

Pediatric UrologyAll Pediatric Subspecialty certificates issued by the American Board of Urology are valid for ten years and are subject to the Lifelong Learning Program. The expiration date of the Diplomate’s active general certificate will be extended to coincide with the expiration of the subspecialty certificate. The Diplomate will enter LLL upon successful attainment of the subspecialty certification.

The components required for Level 2 Pediatric Subspecialty recertification include submission of an online application, satisfactory peer review, completion and documenting 90 urology focused CME credits earned within the three year period prior to submission, based on the diplomates timeline. 30 of those credits must be pediatric urology-focused Category 1 CME credits. The remaining 60 credits may be Category 1 or Category 2 general urology credits, completion of a PAP, completion of a Patient Safety Module (PSM), submission of a twelve-month practice log and a knowledge assessment.

The Diplomate who chooses to maintain certification in the subspecialty of pediatric urology will be held to the same standard and rigor required for initial certification. Practice logs of twelve months in length must demonstrate that a minimum of 75% of the candidate’s practice is dedicated to pediatric urology, and/or the candidate has an adequate number of major pediatric urologic surgery cases as determined by the Board.

The Lifelong Learning Pediatric Subspecialty knowledge assessment is a 150 multiple choice question assessment designed to assess knowledge of the field of pediatric urology. The knowledge assessment will include all aspects of pediatric urology, including but not limited to: congenital abnormalities, childhood acquired urologic problems such as tumors and trauma, and overlapping problems of adolescence.

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