Board Eligibility Criteria

//Board Eligibility Criteria


  • Only individuals with an MD/DO or equivalent degree are eligible for the Interventional Pulmonology Board Certification examination.
  • Applicants should have completed training in Pulmonary Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine or Thoracic Surgery from an ACGME accredited program in the United States or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada. Applicants who completed their training in a foreign equivalent accredited program should submit evidence of such training to the AABIP board for consideration.
  • Applicants must hold a current, active, license to practice medicine in at least one jurisdiction in the United States, its territories, or Canada.
  • Licenses that have been revoked, suspended, surrendered, or not renewed in order to terminate or settle disciplinary proceedings do not qualify as meeting the requirements for medical licensure, and all such licenses must be reported for review and consideration.
  • Verification of Training and Experience:
    • All applicants must submit evidence of training and competence in the field of Interventional Pulmonology.
    • After the grace period ends in June 2017, only AABIP accredited Interventional Pulmonology fellowship graduates will be eligible to sit for the Interventional Pulmonology (IP) Board certification exam. Details on future AABIP accreditation for Interventional Pulmonology Fellowship programs will be published in a future document.


Interventional Pulmonology Fellowship Programs must meet the procedural requirements outlined below in order to be accredited by the AABIP. Fellowship Program Directors are responsible for affirming that their programs meet the requirements as outlined.

  The following exam qualification pathways are available until the end of the grace period in 2017.

  • Must be a graduate of an AABIP/NRMP-listed IP Fellowship from the graduating class of 2013 until the end of the grace period. Subsequently, only applicants from AABIP accredited fellowship programs will be permitted to apply for the Examination. Must submit a letter with the IP Fellowship Director’s signature and endorsement for eligibility.
  • AABIP requires verification of fellows’ clinical competence, procedural competence, and professionalism, moral and ethical practices from the training program director.
  • The minimum numbers of procedures to be completed in all 3 core groups (Complex Airway Diseases, Advanced Diagnostic Bronchoscopy, and Pleural Disease Management) during the one year of interventional pulmonology fellowship are outlined in the Table 1 below.
  • Fellows are expected to take the board certification examination within 3 years of completing their AABIP listed Interventional Pulmonology Fellowship Program.
  • No credit will be granted toward certification for training that is not recognized by the AABIP.


  • All applicants must have an attestation signed by themselves and another individual that can attest to their clinical competence, procedural competence, professionalism, moral and ethical practices. The verifying individual needs to be an MD/DO or equivalent, but does not have to be practicing interventional pulmonology. The attesting person’s title should be clearly outlined along with the duration and circumstances of contact.
  • The attestation should also confirm that a substantial component of the applicant’s professional activity (33% or more), whether clinical, educational, research or administrative, takes place within the field of IP.
  • Applicants who completed a dedicated IP fellowship program between the years 2010-2012 can submit a 12 month fellowship completion certificate signed by their IP fellowship program director in lieu of the self-attestation form.
  • Practice pathway applicants should submit a procedure log that spans the 3 years prior to date of application. The minimum procedure requirements are listed in Table 1. Any de-identified summary log describing the type and number of procedures will be deemed acceptable.
  • Applicants will be required to meet procedural requirements in all 3 core procedure groups (See page 4 for Table 1: Complex large airway disease; advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy; pleural disease management) within the 3 years preceding their application.
  • Practitioner should be in practice for at least 2 years after fellowship, the log book can include up to one complete year of general fellowship


  • The exam qualification pathways are available until the end of the grace period of 2017 such that the last board examination is 2016
  • After the grace period, only AABIP Interventional Pulmonary fellowship graduates will be eligible
Complex Airway Diseases
  • Rigid or Flexible 3
  • Airway interventions-benign and malignant
    • Any combination of mechanical debulking, laser, APC, electrocautery, cryotherapy, stents (hybrid/silicone) or other endoscopic modality, brachytherapy,PDT or emerging technologies
    • Other flexible or rigid interventions not easily classified elsewhere, e.g., valves, blockers, thermoplasty, etc.
      • Bronchial thermoplasty, valves and blockers, and/or whole lung lavage must not exceed more than 10% (9 of the 90) complex airway procedures
      • Therapeutic aspiration is no longer a recordable procedure
Advanced Diagnostic Bronchoscopy
  • Peripheral lung lesions and mediastinal assessment
  • Any combination of navigation, radial probe EBUS or virtual bronchoscopy guided transbronchial sampling, convex probe EBUS and other emerging technologies
Pleural disease management
  • Thoracoscopy [optional]
  • Any combination of minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including thoracic ultrasound guided thoracentesis, tube thoracostomy, indwelling pleural catheter, closed pleural biopsies and thoracoscopy.
Miscellaneous procedures 3
  • Percutaneous tracheostomy and others not listed
See note 3
Multidisciplinary patient management conferences or other didactic conferences
  • Any combination of tumor board, multidisciplinary clinics, transplant selection committee meetings, etc.


  1. The numbers of procedures listed are considered a threshold number for minimal competency. The AABIP recognizes that some trainees will be proficient after relatively few procedures, but that the average trainee just out of pulmonary or thoracic fellowship will likely become proficient only after a threshold is met. Additionally, the trainee should not consider their training complete simply by accruing a certain number of procedures. IP Fellowship directors have the primary responsibility of ensuring competency sufficient to sit for the boards.
  2. Maintaining procedural competence is a complex process that requires ongoing practice. The AABIP recognizes that some IP fellow graduates may choose a career in industry, hospital administration, research, government, or public health. As such, procedural volumes are variable and some individuals will do no procedures. Certification therefore should not be construed as indicating that the individual remains competent in procedures. The AABIP makes no statement on the competency of individuals once they have left training, but does require maintenance of certification to remain a Diplomat of the AABIP. This policy will be set forth in a future document.
  3. Miscellaneous procedures such as percutaneous tracheostomy, PEG, and others are optional for IP fellowship training and board eligibility. If taught, each program director has the responsibility of ensuring that the trainee is competent.


A process will be available for candidates of unusual circumstances. It is expected that these will be exceptions to policy and will be decided on a case-by-case basis without the implied establishment of precedent.The AABIP has created a Board Eligibility Committee that will review all board applications as well as review all appeals.

  • If all procedural requirements are not satisfied, applicants may make an appeal though a formal appeal process with a written explanation to the board.
  • Individuals who have made substantial contributions to scholarship in Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology based upon research, publications, and presentations/chairmanships at National/International meetings may be eligible to sit for the IP Board Certification Examination at the sole discretion of the AABIP Board of Directors.
  • The AABIP recognizes that there is a substantial group of advanced diagnostic pulmonologists who are currently providing valuable, high-quality and highly sought after patient care services. These Advanced Diagnostic Pulmonologists are also contributing immensely to the scientific advances in this field. While the eligibility requirements for the Interventional Pulmonology Board Certification outlined in this document may exclude several of these talented individuals, the AABIP Board of Directors is taking steps to create a separate certification process for Advanced Diagnostic Pulmonology. Details of this process will be published in a future document.


  • The AABIP reserves the right to audit any applications, including the number of procedures
  • The AABIP expressly reserves the right to amend the eligibility criteria
  • The AABIP specifically reserve the right to revoke or suspend any certificate obtained by fraud, any material misrepresentation in the application, for failure to maintain an active and unrestricted license to practice medicine, etc.

Date of amended version: August 9, 2016