American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology Procedure Requirements for Initial Certification: Time for a Change and Pursuing Consensus in the Nephrology Community

Am J Kidney Dis. 2024 Apr 17:S0272-6386(24)00720-0. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2024.03.014. Online ahead of print.


In 1988, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) defined essential procedural skills in nephrology, and candidates for ABIM certification were required to present evidence of possessing the skills necessary for placement of temporary dialysis vascular access, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and percutaneous renal biopsy. In 1996, continuous renal replacement therapy was added to the list of nephrology requirements. These procedure requirements have not been modified since 1996 while the practice of nephrology has changed dramatically. In March 2021, the ABIM Nephrology Board embarked on a policy journey to revise the procedure requirements for nephrology certification. With the guidance of nephrology diplomates, training program directors, professional and patient organizations, and other stakeholders, the ABIM Nephrology Board revised the procedure requirements to reflect current practice and national priorities. The approved changes include the Opportunity to Train standard for placement of temporary dialysis catheters, percutaneous kidney biopsies, and home hemodialysis which better reflects the current state of training in most training programs, and the new requirements for home dialysis therapies training will align with the national priority to address the underuse of home dialysis therapies. This perspective details the ABIM process for considering changes to the certification procedure requirements and how ABIM collaborated with the larger nephrology community in considering revisions and additions to these requirements.