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Pediatric Rheumatology Certification

Eligibility Criteria for Certification in Pediatric Rheumatology

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) has established a procedure for certification in pediatric rheumatology. 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 rheumatology are required to be completed in a program accredited for training in pediatric rheumatology by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) 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. 


A candidate who is certified in pediatrics may qualify for subcertification in both pediatric rheumatology and allergy/immunology with a shorter total period of training than that presently required (3 years of pediatric rheumatology plus 2 years of allergy/immunology). This compression of training by 1 year can be accomplished by successfully completing scholarly activity/research training relating to the requirements of both the Subboard of Pediatric Rheumatology and the Conjoint Board of Allergy and Immunology.

The total training program would require no less than 4 years (48 months) with at least 1 year (12 months) spent in clinical rheumatology training and 1 year (12 months) in clinical training for allergy/immunology.  The clinical rheumatology training should also include at least another 2 years (24 months) with at least 2 days/week of an outpatient rheumatology experience plus 1 month/year of inpatient rheumatology service to assure longitudinal exposure to rheumatologic problems in children. The scholarly activity/research requirement should be relevant to both rheumatology and allergy/immunology, particularly immunologically related research. Approved candidates will be eligible to apply for the pediatric rheumatology certifying examination after satisfactorily completing all training in both rheumatology and allergy/immunology.  Candidates must meet the requirement for Scholarly Activity, which documents participation in a core curriculum and approval of the work product by the Scholarship Oversight Committee in order to take a pediatric rheumatology certifying examination.

  1. A proposal for the trainee that includes an outline of all 4 years of training, must be submitted to both Boards either before training begins, or during the first year of the 4 year training experience.  The Boards will not approve programs to offer training; rather, the Boards will only consider training proposals for individuals.
  2. Although training in clinical pediatric rheumatology may precede or follow training in allergy/ immunology, such training should occur at the latest in the second year of this combined fellowship. An integrated training program may be developed that must be prospectively approved by both boards.
  3. The candidate must train in pediatric rheumatology and allergy/immunology programs accredited by the ACGME. The two programs should preferably be in the same institution, but programs in the same city may be acceptable.
  4. The scholarly activity/research project selected by the trainee must be discussed with and approved by both training program directors. The trainee must supply written details of any research project for which he/she plans to seek joint approval of both the Subboard of Pediatric Rheumatology and the Conjoint Board of Allergy and Immunology before or early in the course of his/her first year in a subspecialty program. The Subboard and Conjoint Board, in turn, will provide a preliminary written opinion to the trainee concerning the acceptability of the scholarly activity/research project. This early approval does not guarantee the acceptance of the final scholarly activity/research product.
  5. The trainee is required to satisfy both the General Eligibility Requirements for Certification in Pediatric Subspecialties and the Eligibility Criteria specific to the Subboard and Conjoint Board. Final admission to either certification examination is granted by the Credentials Committees after completion of training, fulfillment of the scholarly activity/research competence requirements, and review of all application materials submitted by the candidate.

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.