Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
The American Association of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (AABIP) is committed to enhancing the practice of bronchoscopy to improve the lives of patients with pulmonary disease. We recognize that many pulmonologists are skilled in advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy and focus on the care of patients requiring this expertise, regardless of formal training in Interventional Pulmonology (IP). We are firmly convinced that pulmonologists with a particular interest in advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy provide specific expertise and added value to complex patient care, and should be recognized appropriately for their unique skill set. It is currently challenging for patients, institutional administrators and third-party payers to identify these physicians.
A core mission of the AABIP is to educate, train, test, certify, and advocate for all bronchoscopists regardless of their formal IP training and fellowship status. To this end we have committed our resources to provide educational material via our website, seminars, newsletters, webinars, annual postgraduate courses, research symposia, and now an annual AABIP conference to provide members with up-to-date information, clinically relevant guidelines, and helpful expert opinions to enhance patient care. We are confident that these educational opportunities can support a clear pathway for physicians interested in advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy to develop their skills and expertise.
In light of these considerations and in response to requests from our members, after a year of deliberations and consulting with numerous advanced diagnostic bronchoscopists, the AABIP Board of Directors (BOD) has approved the creation of a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy. We are firmly convinced that this CAQ will offer long overdue legitimacy and recognition of the expertise of these skilled pulmonologists by their institutions and colleagues. We anticipate that such certification will facilitate contract negotiations to secure the resources required to set up a successful advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy program while providing the confidence and legal support for their clinical practice.
The CAQ in Advanced Diagnostic Bronchoscopy will consist of 2 parts: the Knowledge Assessment Test (KAT) and the Procedural Skills Assessment Test (PAT). Convenient test sites around the country will be available to conduct a computer-based KAT every year. The test will be clinical vignettes and multiple choice questions based format similar to other board certification examinations.
To establish procedural competency, procedure logs and the PAT will be used in lieu of the formal training requirements for Interventional Pulmonology Board Certification. There will be multiple test sites around the country that will offer the PAT at different times throughout the year to provide flexibility for the candidates. A detailed step-by-step preparation guide will be released to help candidates prepare for the PAT.
The eligibility criteria for CAQ will be released in the next few weeks to allow candidates ample time to submit eligibility documents and prepare for the test. We also hope to offer a comprehensive review course for people planning to take this test. If you are interested in attending this course, please tentatively mark your calendars for August 14, 2019. We are hoping to hold the CAQ in Advanced Diagnostic Bronchoscopy Review Course a day before the AABIP national conference in Denver to allow you to attend the conference as well. The AAPIB conference will provide even more preparation for the test and a great venue to meet other colleagues who are planning to take the same test. Conference attendance will be discounted for those attending the CAQ Review Course.
The AABIP has already seen a massive wave of support for CAQ in advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy from advanced diagnostic bronchoscopists and IP physicians around the country, and we are looking forward to working with you in raising the level of practice of bronchoscopy in the United States.
Ali I. Musani, MD
President, American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology