Certificate of Added Qualifications

The Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Pain Medicine is offered in conjunction with the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This CAQ, which became available to qualifying family physicians in 2003, is designed to recognize excellence among those Diplomates who are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of the entire range of pain disorders.


How Do I Obtain My Initial Pain Medicine CAQ?

The Pain Medicine Certification Examination is offered annually. If you are interested in seeking initial Pain Medicine Certification, you will need to meet the following requirements to become eligible to take the examination and gain certification:

  • Continuously maintain your ABFM Family Medicine Certification
  • Complete of a minimum 12 months of full-time training in an ACGME-accredited Pain Medicine Fellowship Program and submit verification of completion documentation
  • Submit an online application with the appropriate fee
  • Achieve a passing score on the Pain Medicine Certification Examination

Beginning in 2023, if you gain initial certification in Pain Medicine, you will begin your first five-year cycle of longitudinal assessment (MOCA Minute) at the start of the following year. Going forward, you can expect to begin a new cycle of MOCA Minute every five years to maintain your Pain Medicine CAQ.

Your board eligibility period for subspecialty certification begins the day after the verified completion of your fellowship training and expires after seven date-to-date years (Example: 07/01/2017–06/30/2024). In order to remain board eligible for the Pain Medicine CAQ during this time, you will need to maintain your ABFM Family Medicine Certification. For details, please visit our CAQ Board Eligibility page.


How Do I Maintain My Pain Medicine CAQ?

Beginning in 2023, if you are Diplomate who holds a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Pain Medicine, you will transition to longitudinal assessment (MOCA Minute) in the year your 10-year examination requirement comes due. To maintain your Pain Medicine CAQ, you will need to meet the following requirements.

  • Continuously maintain your ABFM Family Medicine Certification
  • Submit an online application with the appropriate fee
  • Submit CAQ process fees on an annual basis
  • Achieve a passing score on the Pain Medicine longitudinal assessment (MOCA Minute)

Going forward, you can expect to begin a new cycle of MOCA Minute every five years to maintain your Pain Medicine CAQ. To learn more about the American Board of Anesthesiology’s longitudinal assessment (MOCA Minute), please click here.


My Pain Medicine CAQ has Lapsed

If you have previously held a Pain Medicine CAQ Certification and it has lapsed, you can still regain certification. If you meet the requirements below, you may regain certification no matter how long it has been lapsed.

  • Continuously maintain your ABFM Family Medicine Certification
  • Submit an online application with the appropriate fee
  • Achieve a passing score on the Pain Medicine One-Day Examination

Note that if your Pain Medicine certification has lapsed, you may not enroll in Pain Medicine longitudinal assessment (MOCA Minute) to regain certification.


How Do I Get Started?

If you are interested in obtaining, maintaining, or regaining a Pain Medicine Certificate of Added Qualifications, you may access the online application for the Pain Medicine CAQ Examination under “Added Qualifications” in your MyABFM Portfolio.

For additional information, please contact Alex Baker at [email protected] or 859-479-2612.