Our mission. Your expertise.

The ABPMR depends on hundreds of volunteers each year to achieve its mission and vision: To protect the public by improving the quality of patient care through dynamic, valid, reliable certification and continuing certification processes that foster excellence in the field of PM&R.

Our volunteers research, write, and edit questions for all ABPMR examinations, which then undergo multiple stages of review before they are included on an examination. They develop patient vignettes—multi-dimensional stories that are structured to test all five content domains—then review and refine the details with other experts before the vignettes are vetted and used for the oral examination. For each multiple-choice question, they cite current sources for not only why the correct answer is correct, but also why the incorrect options are incorrect, and for longitudinal assessment questions, they write a rationale for each question that not only provides an explanation, but also a learning opportunity.

ABPMR volunteers devote many hours of their personal time to help the ABPMR fulfill its mission to protect the public, and more specifically, to protect the patients seen by board-certified physiatrists every day.

If you would like be part of ensuring that board-certified physiatrists are held to the high standard necessary to provide quality physiatric care: Join us.

Join Us

How to volunteer for the ABPMR

Read the volunteer descriptions and time commitments below

Ensure you meet minimum qualifications for the role(s) you’re interested in

Scroll down to contact us about volunteer opportunities, and we’ll be in touch!

Role descriptions

Volunteer Positions at the ABPMR

Oral Exam Track

  • ABPMR Oral Board Examiner

    Role description

    Many ABPMR volunteers start their service to the board here, as an oral board examiner. In the weeks leading up to the exam administration, these volunteers complete several hours of self-paced training on exam logistics, scoring, unconscious bias, and other topics, as well as one-on-one tech training, examiner partner roleplay, and large group training. During the exam itself, oral board examiners commit to at least one full day and one half day of active examinations, examining a minimum of 12 candidates per administration; they receive detailed feedback on their performance from ABPMR Oral Board Evaluators’ observation during and after the exam.

    Qualifications

    • At least 5 years post-certification
    • No failing scores on primary certification exams
    • Participating and Meeting Requirements in the ABPMR Continuing Certification Program
    • Must abide by ABPMR Confidentiality, Assignment, and Conflict of Interest Policy for volunteers, including no participation in board preparation or review activities

    Time commitment

    Minimum 1.5 full days (12-16 hours) for examinations, plus 8 hours’ training time prior to exam days; commitment focused in April/May

    Term

    Three-year term, may be renewed twice for a total of nine (9) years

    Advancement opportunity: ABPMR Oral Board Exam Content Expert

  • ABPMR Oral Board Exam Content Expert

    Role description

    High performing ABPMR Oral Board Examiners may be asked to serve as Oral Board Content Experts. These volunteers create, write, review, and edit the patient vignettes that eventually are used in the ABPMR Part II (Oral) Examination. Oral Board Content Experts may be invited to in-person vignette writing meetings and asked to participate in discussions on innovations to the Part II Examination. In addition to their vignette writing and review responsibilities throughout the year, Oral Board Content Experts participate in the May Part II Examination as examiner observers and at times are asked to fill in as examiners in the case of illness or if a candidate is known to an examiner.

    Qualifications

    • Completed at least one three-year term as oral board examiner
    • Performance statistics demonstrate strong consistency, quality, and reliability as an examiner
    • No failing scores on primary certification exams
    • Participating and Meeting Requirements in the ABPMR Continuing Certification Program
    • Must abide by ABPMR Confidentiality, Assignment, and Conflict of Interest Policy for volunteers, including no participation in board preparation or review activities

    Time commitment

    12-16 hours annually: Vignette development each summer with additional training, examiner observation and mentorship. Leadership role. Observations are two-fold: Examiner performance and vignette administration performance.

    Term

    Three-year term, may be renewed twice for a total of nine (9) years

    Advancement opportunity: ABPMR Board Director

  • ABPMR Board Director

    Role description

    ABPMR Board Directors are recognized physiatrist leaders at the forefront of the field. Serving on a board of 15 elected members, each director is expected to prioritize ABPMR responsibilities, serving as ambassadors and representatives of the board to their peers. Board directors are data-driven and deliberative, ensuring all board activities and initiatives align with the ABPMR mission, vision, and strategic plan. ABPMR board directors set the short- and long-term strategic direction of the ABPMR and direct tasks of committees and board staff.

    Qualifications

    • Consistent, long-term, high-quality contributions to ABPMR volunteer service, responsive to all board colleague and staff correspondence, strong advocates for ABPMR initiatives and policies
    • Demonstrated leadership skills and business acumen
    • Have held multiple volunteer positions with the ABPMR; nominated by peers
    • Not currently serving in leadership for other PM&R-related organizations during board director term(s)
    • No failing scores on primary certification exams
    • Participating and Meeting Requirements in the ABPMR Continuing Certification Program
    • Must abide by ABPMR Confidentiality, Assignment, and Conflict of Interest Policy for volunteers, including no participation in board preparation or review activities

    Time commitment

    60-100 hours annually; multiple in-person and virtual meetings required including evenings and weekends; travel required

    Term

    Five-year term, may be renewed once for a total of ten (10) years

Computer Based Test Exam Track

  • ABPMR Board Exam Content Writer

    Role description

    ABPMR Board Exam Content Writers create questions for ABPMR computer-based examinations, including:

    • Part I Examination
    • Brain Injury Medicine Examination
    • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Examination
    • Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Examination
    • Longitudinal Assessment for PM&R (LA-PM&R) (title: ABPMR LA-PM&R Content Writer)

    Question writing cycles commence each fall, when content writers complete a set of training modules on the ABPMR’s evidence-based exam question writing norms, including how to write clinically relevant questions, the appropriate ABPMR item writing style and format for answer options, and finding/citing current references. Once the training modules are complete, content writers are given assignments based on their identified interest areas and the needs of the ABPMR item (question) banks. Following question submission to the ABPMR team, ABPMR Board Exam Content Experts review with an eye on content correctness, core knowledge, and appropriate level of difficulty. After several rounds of review and vetting, the questions are evaluated for inclusion in the ABPMR question bank. Content writers are provided feedback on their submissions and tips for improvement during and after the process.

    Qualifications

    • No failing scores on primary certification exams
    • Participating and Meeting Requirements in the ABPMR Continuing Certification Program
    • Subspecialty Board Exam Content Writers must be board certified in the subspecialty they are writing for (BIM, PRM, SCIM) with no failing scores on those examinations
    • Must abide by ABPMR Confidentiality, Assignment, and Conflict of Interest Policy for volunteers, including no participation in board preparation or review activities

    Time commitment

    Five to 10 hours annually after initial training; two one-month content writing submission windows annually

    Term

    Three-year term, may be renewed twice for a total of nine (9) years

    Advancement opportunity: ABPMR Board Exam Content Expert

  • ABPMR Board Exam Content Expert

    Role description

    ABPMR Board Exam Senior Content Experts have demonstrated strong item writing skills and are well-versed in ABPMR’s exam question writing norms. These volunteers have advanced to reviewing Board Exam Content Writers’ submissions, determining whether the content is correct and core to the field or subspecialty exam and at appropriate level of difficulty. They work with ABPMR Associate Directors and Board Directors to further refine submitted questions, including several stages of review and vetting to ensure strong performing items on the ABPMR examinations.

    Qualifications

    • Completed at least one 3-year term as Board Exam Content Writer
    • Meets deadlines, incorporates constructive feedback, is responsive to reviewer and staff emails
    • Demonstrates strong item writing skills, items perform well on exams
    • No failing scores on primary certification exams
    • Participating and Meeting Requirements in the ABPMR Continuing Certification Program
    • Subspecialty Exam Content Experts must be board certified in the corresponding subspecialty (BIM, PRM, SCIM) with no failing scores on those examinations
    • Must abide by ABPMR Confidentiality, Assignment, and Conflict of Interest Policy for volunteers, including no participation in board preparation or review activities

    Time commitment

    10-12 hours annually, content reviewing cycle occurs in two-month-long review windows bi-annually. Opportunity to participate with committee in final item review meeting to accept/reject items for item bank inclusion. Questions accepted into bank for possible future use on exams or assessments.

    Term

    Three-year term, may be renewed twice for a total of nine (9) years

    Advancement opportunity: ABPMR Associate Director

  • ABPMR Associate Director

    Role description

    ABPMR Associate Directors sit on ABPMR examination/assessment committees, including:

    • Part I Examination Committee
    • Brain Injury Medicine Examination Committee
    • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Examination Committee
    • Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Examination Committee
    • Longitudinal Assessment for PM&R (LA-PM&R) Committee

    As full voting members of their committee, ABPMR Associate Directors participate in all committee meetings (virtual and in-person), contributing to discussions and decisions on exam and assessment performance, scoring, question review, exam assembly, exam report review, standard-setting studies, and innovations to exam and assessment processes. Associate Directors are often called upon to participate fully in review work for exam content, including revising and refining questions and updating aging questions.

    Qualifications

    • Completed at least one 3-year term as Board Exam Content Writer
    • Demonstrates leadership and mentoring skills, recognized expert in the field/their practice focus
    • Demonstrates strong item writing skills, items perform well on exams
    • Assignments are completed on time and volunteer is responsive to instructions and reminders from board colleagues and staff
    • No failing scores on primary certification exams
    • Participating and Meeting Requirements in the ABPMR Continuing Certification Program
    • Subspecialty Exam Content Experts must be board certified in the corresponding subspecialty (BIM, PRM, SCIM) with no failing scores on those examinations
    • Must abide by ABPMR Confidentiality, Assignment, and Conflict of Interest Policy for volunteers, including no participation in board preparation or review activities

    Time commitment

    16-20 hours annually, multiple commitments virtually (synchronous and asynchronous) throughout the year; one in-person meeting with travel required

    Term

    Four-year term; may be renewed once for a total of eight (8) years

    Advancement opportunity: ABPMR Board Director

  • ABPMR Board Director

    Role description

    ABPMR Board Directors are recognized physiatrist leaders at the forefront of the field. Serving on a board of 15 elected members, each director is expected to prioritize ABPMR responsibilities, serving as ambassadors and representatives of the board to their peers. Board directors are data-driven and deliberative, ensuring all board activities and initiatives align with the ABPMR mission, vision, and strategic plan. ABPMR board directors set the short- and long-term strategic direction of the ABPMR and direct tasks of committees and board staff.

    Qualifications

    • Consistent, long-term, high-quality contributions to ABPMR volunteer service, responsive to all board colleague and staff correspondence, strong advocates for ABPMR initiatives and policies
    • Demonstrated leadership skills and business acumen
    • Have held multiple volunteer positions with the ABPMR; nominated by peers
    • Not currently serving in leadership for other PM&R-related organizations during board director term(s)
    • No failing scores on primary certification exams
    • Participating and Meeting Requirements in the ABPMR Continuing Certification Program
    • Must abide by ABPMR Confidentiality, Assignment, and Conflict of Interest Policy for volunteers, including no participation in board preparation or review activities

    Time commitment

    60-100 hours annually; multiple in-person and virtual meetings required including evenings and weekends; travel required

    Term

    Five-year term, may be renewed once for a total of ten (10) years

Apply Today

Become an ABPMR Volunteer

Please review all qualifications above, then email Kara at kgunderson@abpmr.org with the following information:

  • Name, location, and certifications
  • Who referred you to us (if applicable)
  • Which volunteer role(s) you’re interested in
  • If you’re interested in content writing, please list your areas of expertise as specifically as possible