The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) has announced that maintenance of primary certification will now be optional for ABPN diplomates who have subspecialty certification in sleep medicine.

The policy change allows ABPN diplomates currently certified in sleep medicine to follow the lead of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), which administers the multidisciplinary sleep medicine certification. Because the ABIM no longer requires maintenance of underlying certification for ABIM diplomates who have subspecialty certification in sleep medicine, ABPN diplomates who are certified in sleep medicine now have the option to drop primary certification in psychiatry or neurology. ABPN diplomates must continue to satisfy all ABPN MOC/Continuing Certification requirements (Parts I-IV) to maintain subspecialty certification.

For years the AASM has been urging ABPN to eliminate the primary certification requirement for sleep physicians, noting that the requirement was financially burdensome and did not align with the reality of the practice of sleep medicine for many of our members. Individual AASM members, including Mark Hickey, MD, also have played an instrumental role in advocating for this policy change.

Instructions for how to notify the ABPN of your intent to drop primary certification are provided on the ABPN website. For more information, please contact the ABPN at