Certificate of Added Qualifications

The Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Pain Medicine is offered in conjunction with 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.

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?

The continuing certification examination is offered annually.  The Pain Medicine CAQ Certification is 10 years in duration.   If you are interested in maintaining your Pain Medicine Certificate of Added Qualifications, you will need to meet the following requirements to take the Pain Medicine CAQ Continuing Certification Examination and maintain certification status. 

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

You may choose may take the Pain Medicine Examination prior to the year in which your CAQ is scheduled to expire, if desired. Each time you successfully complete the Pain Medicine Examination you will reset your 10-year Pain Medicine CAQ Certification.  Any time remaining on your previous certificate will be foregone. If you are unsuccessful on the examination, you may re-attempt provided that application requirements are met.


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 Certification Examination

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 “CAQ Examinations” in your Physician Portfolio.

For additional information, please contact Erik Tousseau at [email protected] or 859-538-7169.