Longitudinal Assessment for Pain Medicine

LA-Pain Now Available for ABPMR Diplomates

Longitudinal assessment (LA) is now available for maintaining certification in pain medicine. Like ABPMR’s LA-PM&R program, LA-Pain is a learning platform designed to assess your knowledge, provide immediate feedback, help you identify knowledge gaps, and link to resources to help you learn and improve over time.

The success of the ABPMR’s longitudinal assessment pilot for PM&R meant the ABPMR Board of Directors approved the same format for pain medicine diplomates as soon as the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) offered a platform for non-anesthesiologists.

Administered by the ABA, and in partnership with the ABPMR, LA-Pain will be gradually rolled out over the next few years. Diplomates who have pain medicine certificates expiring in 2020 are eligible to participate the first year (2020).

LA-Pain Basics

Platform and Program Design

LA-Pain is designed to help you maintain your certification and improve your skills by answering quarterly questions on pain medicine, which can be done conveniently using your own computer or tablet.

  • Quarterly Questions

    Each quarter you will receive 30 multiple-choice questions assessing your core knowledge of pain medicine, for a total of 120 questions annually. Once opened, each question needs to be answered within 60 seconds. Emailed alerts will let you know when a new quarter has begun and questions are available to answer, and reminders will be sent regularly until all the quarter’s questions are answered. Note: Diplomates starting in 2020 will begin in quarter 2 and will have 60 questions to answer in their first quarter of LA-Pain.

  • Learning Tools

    As an opportunity for self-directed learning, you will have access to a Knowledge Assessment Report, which includes the last 120 questions in your question history. Using this, you can go back to review your previous quarters’ material including the questions, key points, and references.

  • Resources

    If your Knowledge Assessment Report identifies specific areas for further learning, the platform will also link to Continuing Medical Education (CME) opportunities relevant to those learning areas.

  • Scoring

    LA-Pain is administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA); they are responsible for setting the performance standard. Visit the ABA website for more information about their performance standard and measurement decision theory, the measurement model they use to evaluate diplomate performance.

  • Cost

    See the Longitudinal Assessment Calendar for enrollment dates and cost.

Implementation of LA-Pain

A gradual rollout will be implemented for LA-Pain Diplomates who have pain medicine certificates expiring in 2020 are eligible to participate the first year (2020). After that, enrollment will depend on your current certificate expiration date.

Timeline for Diplomates with Pain Medicine Certificates:

Expiring in 2020

  • February 2020: Enrollment for LA-Pain opens for the class of 2020
  • April 2020: Begin answering questions (60 questions initially, 30 questions per quarter thereafter)
  • December 31, 2020: The deadline to answer all 120 questions for the year is 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Early 2021: Final LA-Pain performance assessment released; receive new 10-year certificate if all MOC requirements are met
  • 2021: Continue ongoing participation in LA-Pain as part of your MOC requirements

Expiring in 2021

  • Late 2020: Enrollment begins for LA-Pain 2021
  • January, 2021: Begin answering questions (30 questions administered per quarter)
  • December 31, 2021: The deadline to answer all 120 questions for the year is 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Early 2022: Final LA-Pain performance assessment released; receive new 10-year certificate if all MOC requirements are met
  • 2022: Continue ongoing participation in LA-Pain as part of your MOC requirements

Expiring in 2022 & Beyond

  • By Fall of 2021: All Pain Medicine diplomates enroll in LA-Pain to fulfill exam requirement
  • January 2022: All Pain Medicine diplomates start answering questions (30 questions administered per quarter)
  • Performance standard displayed in real time on dashboard
  • Meet the LA-Pain performance standard by the end of your certification expiration year
  • Following expiration, you’ll receive a new 10-year certificate if all MOC requirements are met, including LA-Pain
  • Continue participating in LA-Pain on an ongoing basis

Re-Entry

Getting Back On Track

Should you not meet the performance standard set by the ABA at the end of your current certification cycle, your certificate will expire and you will no longer be certified in pain medicine. Then, you’ll have two options to regain your certification:

Re-entry via LA-Pain

  • Continue participation in LA-Pain and try to meet the performance standard by the end of the following year. Your certification will be expired during this year, and will be regained after the final assessment after the end of the year.

Re-entry via Pain Medicine Examination

  • Take and pass the Pain Medicine Examination that is offered annually in September.
  • The application window for the Pain Medicine Examination is open annually from March to June. For more details, sign into your abpmr.org account and visit the Exam Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use LA-Pain for my exam requirement if my certificate expires in 2021?

    Yes! Watch for enrollment to begin late in 2020 for diplomates whose pain medicine certificates expire in 2021. Quarterly questions will be released January 1, 2021, and each quarter thereafter. Meeting the ABA performance standard by the end of the year will fulfill your knowledge assessment (exam) requirement for MOC.

  • What about certificates that expire in 2022 and beyond?

    By 2022, all ABPMR diplomates certified in pain medicine will be expected to participate in LA-Pain on an ongoing basis. Watch for more information on the ABPMR website by late 2021 for information about enrollment.

  • How am I assessed on my LA-Pain performance?

    The ABA sets the LA-Pain performance standard using a different assessment process than the ABPMR uses. You can read more information on the ABA webpage, particularly the section on performance standard and measurement decision theory (MDT).

  • How will I know if I meet the LA-Pain performance standard?

    Whether or not you’re meeting the performance standard will be displayed on your LA-Pain dashboard and updated in real time—if you’re wondering how you’re doing, just sign into your dashboard! If you meet the LA-Pain performance standard set by the ABA at the end of the year in which your certificate expires, your knowledge assessment requirement for MOC will be fulfilled and you will receive a new 10-year pain medicine certificate.

  • Will you keep issuing 10-year certificates for pain medicine?

    Yes, we will continue to issue 10-year certificates to be consistent with other boards issuing pain medicine subspecialty certificates. However, the intention is to move pain medicine (and other subspecialties) to a continuing process similar to primary certification in PM&R—but, for now, the timeline for that transition is undetermined.

  • What if I don’t meet the LA-Pain performance standard?

    Throughout your participation in LA-Pain, you will receive immediate feedback regarding correct and incorrect answers as well as rationales and resources to help you learn—and your dashboard will continually update, showing you in real time whether or not you’re meeting the standard. We expect you’ll learn and improve over time, and there will be plenty of advance notice if you’re not meeting the standard.

    However, if you do not meet the standard at the end of your certification cycle, your certificate will expire; you may then regain your certification by either meeting the performance standard over the next year (during which your certificate will be expired) or by taking the Pain Medicine Examination the following year. See the Re-Entry section for more information.

  • How do I study for LA-Pain?

    Longitudinal assessment is not the same as an exam. Instead of employing “study-then-test” thinking, try to think of the platform as the study tool, because participation in LA-Pain is designed to help you learn and improve over time. As you answer questions, the platform will show you the areas in which you have knowledge gaps and it will provide resources for improvement and further learning—and the spaced repetition feature will keep bringing back topics with opportunity for improvement.

    If you’d like to review the areas that will be covered by LA-Pain, you may review the content outline for the Pain Medicine Examination from the ABA.

  • Can I access questions I’ve answered in previous quarters?

    Yes, you will have access to a Knowledge Assessment Report that includes the last 120 questions you’ve answered from past quarters, including the question, correct answer, rationale, and reference, along with resources for further learning if applicable.

  • What if I don’t complete all of the questions during a quarter?

    In order to take full advantage of the spaced repetition feature, we encourage you to complete all questions within a quarter. However, you will still be able to access your previous quarters’ questions, but only the last 120 you’ve answered. To catch up, the system allows you to answer a daily maximum of 30 questions. The deadline for answering all questions for the year is December 31 at 11:59 pm EST.

  • Do I get any CME or self-assessment credit by participating in LA-Pain?

    As of now, no credit will be offered.