Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Certification

Eligibility Criteria for Certification in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) has established a procedure for certification in pediatric critical care medicine. In addition to the specific admission requirements listed below, General Eligibility Criteria for all ABP Subspecialties must be fulfilled to be eligible for certification.


Three years of full-time, broad based fellowship training in pediatric critical care medicine are required to be completed in a program accredited for training in pediatric critical care medicine by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in the United States or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Absences from Training

No continuous absence of more than 1 year will be permitted. Due to the potential for significant changes in medicine over time, the Credentials Committee must review requests for previous credit when a fellow has interrupted fellowship for more than 12 months.

Absences/leaves in excess of 3 months during the 3 years of training, whether for vacation, parental leave, illness, and so forth, must be made up. If the program director believes that the candidate is well qualified and has met all requirements, the program director may submit a petition to the ABP requesting an exemption to the policy. Training time cannot be waived for convenience, such as for fellows who begin training off cycle.

Part-time training may be completed over no more than 6 years.

The following must be accomplished in order to become certified in the subspecialty:

  • The program director must submit a final evaluation verifying satisfactory completion of the required training, evaluating clinical competence, including professionalism, and providing evidence of scholarly activity/research.
  • The fellow must meet the criteria stated in the “Principles Regarding the Assessment of Scholarly Activity.”
  • The fellow must pass the subspecialty certifying examination. 

Dual Pathway for Certification in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Anesthesiology
Effective July 2013

The ABP and the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) have agreed to a pathway that allows an individual to complete training in pediatric critical care medicine (PCCM) and anesthesiology in a shorter period of time than is required for separate training in each of the disciplines. Satisfactory completion of the pathway would confer eligibility for certification in both disciplines after 5 years of training. This pathway was effective for those entering training in July 2013 and applies to anyone who has no previous anesthesiology or pediatric critical care medicine training.

The pathway includes the following stipulations:

  • The pathway is available to those who have completed the required training for certification in general pediatrics.
  • Both the anesthesiology and PCCM training must be completed in the same institution or in close geographic proximity in the same academic health system.
  • Training in PCCM may precede or follow training in anesthesiology or the training may be fully integrated.
  • An individual in the pathway must be identified by the end of the first year of training or preferably before training begins in anesthesiology and PCCM.
  • An outline of the 5-year plan that details how the training requirements of the ABP, the ABA, and the ACGME will be met must be submitted to both boards for approval. Individuals will be approved for this pathway on a case-by-case basis; programs will not be approved.
  • Although double counting of scholarly activity/research experience is allowed, all clinical training requirements must be met in each discipline and may not be double counted.
  • Six months of the scholarly activity required for PCCM certification will be completed during the 6 months of research time allowed during the anesthesiology residency. The trainee’s Scholarship Oversight Committee will oversee this training, as required by the ABP’s General Criteria for Certification in the Pediatric Subspecialties.
  • The 5 years of training will not confer eligibility for certification in pediatric anesthesiology by the ABA.
  • Trainees in the pathway will be eligible for certification in both anesthesiology and PCCM upon the satisfactory completion of all 5 years of training. Certification in one discipline is not contingent upon certification in the other.

Endorsed by the ABA Board of Directors 7/12
Approved by the ABP Board of Directors 9/12

An individual certified in anesthesiology by the American Board of Anesthesiology who entered pediatric critical care medicine fellowship by July 1, 2015 may apply for certification in pediatric critical care medicine on the basis of certification in anesthesiology and the satisfactorily completion of 2 years of pediatric critical care training. All requirements for clinical training and scholarly activity/research must have been fulfilled during the 2 years of pediatric critical care medicine. This pathway is not available to individuals without previous training in either anesthesiology or pediatric critical care medicine who began such training on or after July 1, 2013. Those individuals must utilize the Dual Pathway for Certification in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Anesthesiology.

It should be noted that these criteria and conditions are subject to change without notice. All applicants are advised to contact the ABP to ascertain whether the information they have is current.