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 Maintenance of Certification (MOC). 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 2017 Recertification Examination are October 17 or October 23.
Beginning with the 2017 recertification process, invitations to recertify will be emailed in January to all Diplomates eligible to enter the recertification process in that calendar year. The recertification exam application is due March 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 March 1 with a $750 late fee. After March 15, no further applications will be accepted.
Six month practice logs are due March 1. Logs submitted after March 1 will be assessed a $750 late fee. After March 15, no further logs will be accepted.
Documentation of 90 CME credits (30 of Category 1) is due March 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.
The recertification examination is scheduled annually on two dates in late October. Candidates may select either date to take the examination. It is a proctored, computerized examination, administered at over 200 Pearson VUE testing centers located throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
The proctored, computer-based examination will be administered at selected Pearson testing centers nationwide on Tuesday, October 17th and Monday, October 23rd, 2017. Please be aware that the exam is not administered in an open-book format; no materials of any kind are allowed into the testing center. Also, the 2017 MOC/Recertification examination will return to a modular format. The examination is composed of 75 questions and contains two modules. All Diplomates will take a common Core/General Urology module plus a second module covering specific content of their choosing. The Core/General Urology module is composed of 40 questions and covers broad urologic content (including but not limited to UTIs, hematuria, genital pain, BPH, PSA, trauma, general medicine, geriatric care,). Each of the four specific content modules consist of 35 questions. All Diplomates participating in the MOC/Recertification exams must choose one of the four content modules prior to the exam based on the focus or their practice and interest. The content of the Core and selected modules will be mixed and randomly presented as one examination. The Diplomate will have 4 hours to complete the 75 question exam.
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
Candidates seeking recertification have 3 opportunities to pass the examination. All applications are individually reviewed by the recertification committee
The method used to determine a passing score on the recertification examination is based on criterion reference testing. Criterion reference testing uses a benchmark examination to establish a performance which all candidates must meet. Examinations are compared to the benchmark standard and the passing score varies according to the difficulty. The probability of passing remains constant, and the examination process provides a uniform opportunity to pass from one year to the next. In theory, all who take the examination could pass; there is no mandatory failure rate. Statistical results for the Recertification exam can be found here.
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.