Subspecialty Certification

ABPMR Implements Longitudinal Assessment for Pain Medicine Starting in 2020

A few weeks ago, the ABPMR announced it would replace the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Examination with longitudinal assessment (LA) using CertLink. Today, we have more good news — this time for ABPMR diplomates with subspecialty certification in pain medicine.


Starting in 2020, ABPMR pain medicine diplomates will have the option of using Longitudinal Assessment for Pain Medicine (ABPMR LA-Pain) instead of the Pain Medicine Examination to fulfill the knowledge assessment requirement for maintaining certification.

Similar to LA for primary certification in PM&R, LA-Pain will administer quarterly questions with identification of knowledge gaps, along with resources for improvement, as an assessment for learning.


For the 2020 year, participation in LA-Pain will be limited to Pain Medicine diplomates with certificates expiring in 2020.

If your certificate expires after 2020, don’t worry! You, too, will be able to use LA-Pain instead of taking the Pain Medicine Examination.

After LA for PM&R is up and running in 2020, we’ll release full implementation plans for the next few years. At minimum, you will participate in LA-Pain during the year your certificate expires, but eventually all pain medicine diplomates will be participating on an ongoing basis, similar to LA-PM&R using CertLink.


Pain Medicine diplomates with certificates expiring in 2020 will enroll in LA-Pain and begin answering questions in early 2020. More information on cost, how to register, and other details will be shared later this year.


LA-Pain will be available on any personal computer or device with internet access.


Based on the success of our pilot showing that LA for PM&R can replace the secure MOC Examination, the ABPMR Board of Directors believes strongly in the value of LA for assessing certified physicians’ knowledge while providing useful tools for keeping current.

When the administering board for pain medicine certification, the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), shared that they were creating a platform for sponsoring boards’ diplomates in pain medicine to participate in their longitudinal assessment process (called MOCA Minute for anesthesiologists), the ABPMR board quickly approved the new pathway. The new platform is still under development and will be available in 2020.

Thanks to the partnership of the ABA and their similar commitment to LA for both learning and assessment, ABPMR pain medicine diplomates will be able to fulfill their knowledge assessment requirement for MOC using this valuable new learning tool.

More information will be shared via email with diplomates with certificates expiring in 2020, and more details for other classes will be released as decisions are made. As always, if you have questions about how this implementation affects you, please contact the board office to speak with one of our MOC experts.

Originally Published: June 24, 2019