American Board of Sleep Medicine
The American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) was established to encourage the study, improve the practice, elevate the standards of Sleep Medicine, and issue certificates of special knowledge in Sleep Medicine to Physicians and PhDs in related fields.
ABOUT THE ABSM
The American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) was established to encourage the study, improve the practice, elevate the standards of sleep medicine, and issue certificates of special knowledge in sleep medicine to physicians and PhDs in related fields.
The need for the ABSM arose from increasing recognition and awareness of the medical importance of sleep and sleep disorders in medicine. Although it was known for centuries that sleep could affect such disorders as epilepsy and asthma, the discovery of REM sleep, the discoveries of sleep apnea and periodic limb movements of sleep, and the recognition that sleep disorders could have serious medical consequences led to the development in the 1970s of clinics and laboratories devoted to the study of sleep and sleep disorders.
As more clinicians focused their efforts on diagnosis and management of sleep disorders, it became clear that persons with special knowledge in sleep medicine should be identified and recognized. The Examination Committee of the Association of Sleep Disorders Centers (now the American Academy of Sleep Medicine), was established in 1978 and administered the sleep medicine examination until 1990. In 1989, the AASM voted to create an independent entity and in 1991, the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) was incorporated and assumed all the activities and responsibilities of the former Examination Committee.
The ABSM based the certification process on the following five assumptions about sleep medicine:
* Sleep medicine is a clinical specialty with a focus on clinical problems that require accurate diagnosis and treatment.
* The knowledge base of sleep medicine is derived from many disciplines including neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, respiratory physiology, pharmacology, psychology, psychiatry, neurology, general internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and pediatrics as well as others.
* Diagnosis of sleep disorders is based on clinical acumen, scientific knowledge, and appropriately applied laboratory studies.
* Treatment of sleep disorders is based on accurate diagnosis.
* Mastery of specific clinical skills and procedures is essential for the practice of sleep medicine.
Certification by the ABSM indicates a substantial professional commitment to sleep medicine and documents expertise in sleep medicine to patients, professional colleagues, and organizations. Successful completion of the examination is testimony that the individual has devoted time to specialized training and has obtained broad knowledge in diverse disciplines and substantial expertise in diagnostic and treatment skills special to the field.
In 2007, several American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member boards began administering certification examinations in sleep medicine. The American Board of Sleep Medicine felt that having an examination process recognized by the ABMS was advantageous to the field of sleep medicine and ceased administering its examination.
Because certification from the American Board of Sleep Medicine is a lifetime certification, the American Board of Sleep Medicine continues to verify and maintain the records of its 3,445 diplomates.