Recertification is the process whereby the Board identifies for the public those Diplomates who have met the Board's criteria for basic continuing education and have demonstrated a fund of knowledge and expertise in the care of patients whose cases were reviewed by the Board at the time of the exam.
All physicians certified in 1985 or later must complete the recertification process to maintain certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology. Physicians who were certified prior to 1985, are not required to undergo recertification, but may opt to do so voluntarily. Physicians who are clinically inactive may choose to maintain certification with a clinically-inactive status. All Trustees of the Board must complete the entire recertification process during their tenure.
As with certification, recertification is valid for ten years, extending by a decade the expiration date of the original or previously recertified certificate, subject to the Life Long Learning Program. Prior to certificate expiration, physicians are offered, by invitational letter, three separate opportunities to recertify. For example, physicians who originally certified in 1989 may elect to sit for the recertification examination in October of 2016, 2017 or 2018, before expiration of their current certificate in February of 2019. In such case, regardless of which year is selected, the recertification certificate will then have a 10 year extended expiration date of February 28, 2029, subject to MOC.
Dates for the 2018 Recertification Examination are October 12 or October 19.
Schedule and Fees:
Beginning with the 2017 recertification process, invitations to recertify will be emailed and mailed in February to all Diplomates eligible to enter the recertification process in that calendar year. The recertification process application is due to be completed online via the “Diplomate Portal” on the ABU website by April 1. An application fee for recertification is no longer required, however, candidates must be current with payment of the ABU Annual Certificate Fee. Recertification applications may be submitted after April 1 with a $750 late fee. After April 15, no further applications will be accepted.
Six month practice logs are due April 1. Logs submitted after April 1 will be assessed a $750 late fee. After April 15, no further logs will be accepted.
Documentation of 90 CME credits (30 of Category 1) is due April 1. Candidates who have not submitted an adequate number of CME credits by the deadline will be assessed a $200 late fee.
The recertification examination is held annually on one of two dates in late October. In June, candidates will receive instructions relating to registration for the computerized exam, offered at Pearson VUE testing centers nationwide. Approved candidates may take the exam on either date.
Documents and Application:
2018 Recertification Application and additional instructions can be accessed via the ABU Diplomate Portal: https://portal.abu.org
About the Knowledge Assessment:
The recertification knowledge assessment is a 4 hour, 75 question assessment covering the domains of urology. In 2017, the knowledge assessment returned to a modular format. All candidates for the 2018 recertification knowledge assessment must choose one of the four specific content modules on the application that he/she wishes to take in addition to the Core/General module. The four specific content modules are:
A. Oncology, Urinary Diversion and Adrenal
B. Calculus, Laparoscopy-Robotics and Upper Tract Obstruction
C. Impotence, Infertility and Andrology
D. Neurogenic Bladder, Voiding Dysfunction, Female Urology, BPH and Urethral Stricture
The core module will incorporate questions based on the AUA guidelines where possible. The proctored computerized assessment will be administered at over 200 Pearson VUE testing centers located throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The recertification knowledge assessment will be offered on October 12 and October 19, 2018.
Unlike the MOC/recertification exam, the recertification knowledge assessment will not be used as a single metric that primarily influences certificate status, but rather one to help Diplomates identify those areas of strength versus weakness in their medical knowledge -- knowledge that is pertinent to their practice. To that end, the ABU will continue to employ a content-specific modular format for the LLL knowledge assessment. Based on criterion referencing, this knowledge assessment allows for the identification of three groups: those who unconditionally pass, those who pass with CME recommendations, and those receiving a CME conditional pass. Individuals scoring one standard error unit of measurement above the pass point and below receive a pass conditioned upon timely completion of additional CME in their area(s) of weakness. Once the designated CME requirement has been met, the condition is lifted and these Diplomates are able to continue in LLL. It is strongly recommended that all Diplomates elect to undergo Level 2 of LLL and take the knowledge assessment at the first opportunity, in year 7 of their 10 year Lifelong Learning cycle. Doing so affords the maximum time allowance before certificate expiration.
Diplomates certified before 1985 are not required, but may elect, to undertake recertification voluntarily. The voluntary candidate is required to fulfill all requirements of the application process, including licensure documents, peer review, practice log, CME documentation, and examination. Successful completion of the recertification process results in a "voluntary recertification" listing with the American Board of Medical Specialties. Regardless of recertification process failure or success, the original ABU unlimited certificate remains in effect for all voluntary recertification candidates.
Physicians who are no longer clinically active, may keep their certification current by completing all requirements for recertification, with the exception of practice log submission. Once recertified, the Diplomate must comply with MOC requirements except log submission.
Diplomates who wishes to apply for recertification with clinically-inactive status must provide a notarized letter with their application explaining their current medical activity or employment and provide the Board with the last date they saw a patient in a clinical situation.
Clinically inactive Diplomates must notify the Board in writing if/when they return to clinical practice. Clinically inactive Diplomates are required to submit a practice log when they have acquired a minimum of six months of clinical practice. Upon review and approval of the log by the Recertification Committee, the Diplomate’s status will be changed to clinically active. This process must be completed within 18 months of return to clinical practice.