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Training Irregularities for Subspecialties

To apply for certification by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), an individual must meet the training requirements as specified in the eligibility criteria.

Absences from Training
In order to meet the training requirements to apply for certification by the ABP, an individual must train in an accredited program, and the program director must certify that the individual has met the training requirements.

The duration of general pediatrics residency and fellowship training is 36 months. Satisfactory completion of 33 months of clinical training is required. One month of absence is allowed each year for time away from training which includes, vacation, sick, or family leave. Training must be extended to make up any absences greater than three months during the three years of residency/fellowship. However, the program director has the discretion to submit a petition to the ABP requesting a waiver of up to two months of elective training only in the following circumstance if the trainee:

  • Had a medical or family leave;
  • Is deemed competent by the Clinical Competency Committee;
  • Has met all training requirements except elective training; and
  • Has met the scholarly activity requirement, if the trainee is a fellow.

The request for a waiver must be submitted no earlier than the final three months of training. The ABP encourages trainees to take yearly vacation, and strongly discourages “banking” vacation from year to year as it negatively affects trainees’ health and well-being. The ABP recognizes that leave policies vary from institution to institution and expects the program director to apply local requirements within these guidelines to ensure trainees have completed the requisite period of training. The ABP views educational leave, which includes attendance at training-related seminars as bona fide educational experiences, and it need not be counted as part time away from training. Trainees in combined training or special training pathways are not eligible for a waiver of pediatric training.


Training Disruptions Due to COVID-19 for Residents and Fellows Graduating in 2021

Residents and fellows who are concerned about training disruptions secondary to the pandemic should contact their program directors and coordinators.
In response to inquiries about decisions by the ABP regarding Absences from Training secondary to disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please see our letter (PDF) to graduate medical education program leaders
Please do not hesitate to contact us through the Program Portal with any questions.

Interruption in Training
No continuous absence of more than 1 year will be permitted. Fellows who experience an absence in fellowship of more than 12 continuous months and who wish to re-enter fellowship training must petition the ABP to determine whether credit may be awarded for prior training. The request for credit must be submitted by the candidate or the fellowship director before the fellow re-enters fellowship training.

Fellow Transfers
For continuity of training experiences, mentoring and assurance of meeting training requirements, a fellow should complete all training in the same program. Occasionally, a fellow may need to transfer to another program for compelling reasons. In such circumstances, the program director of the current program and the proposed program director must communicate to ensure that the fellow meets all the requirements if he or she desires to apply for a certifying examination in the subspecialty.

The ACGME requires that the program director receive written verification of previous educational experiences and a statement regarding the performance evaluation of the transferring fellow prior to acceptance into the program. Months of credit for clinical experience and research or scholarly activity completed must be clearly communicated. The ABP must be informed of the plan to ensure continued appropriate mentoring for scholarly activity upon transfer, including the role of the Scholarship Oversight Committee.

The ABP has developed a Transfer Information Form to facilitate communication between programs and has provided copies of the form to pediatric subspecialty program directors. The ABP should be sent a completed copy of this form to ensure that fellows in the tracking system receive appropriate credit for training.

Upon request from a training program that has accepted or is considering accepting a fellow in transfer, the ABP will release information obtained through its tracking system regarding summary evaluations, dates of training and credit provided.