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Point/Counterpoint Editorials |

Counterpoint: Should Board Certification Be Required for Sleep Test Interpretation? NoBoard Certification for Sleep Tests? No

Richard D. Simon, Jr, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorders Center, Providence St. Mary Medical Center; and the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Correspondence to: Richard D. Simon Jr, MD, 401 W Poplar St, Providence St. Mary Medical Center, Walla Walla, WA 99362; e-mail: Richard.Simon@providence.org


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;144(1):11-13. doi:10.1378/chest.13-0363
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Although sleep study interpretation is complicated and requires intensive training, subspecialty sleep medicine certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) should not at this time be a requirement for sleep study interpretations for four fundamental reasons: (1) The number of patients with sleep disorders far exceeds the number of those certified by the ABMS in sleep medicine; (2) sleep disorders are common and overlap with family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, pulmonary medicine, and surgery (especially ear-nose-throat surgery), and, thus, one can expect a reasonable degree of expertise in sleep disorders will be present or can be developed in some who choose those specialties; (3) there are no empirical data that demonstrate subspecialty board certification in sleep medicine significantly improves sleep test interpretation; and (4) there are no empirical data demonstrating test interpretation by those board certified in sleep medicine improves patient outcome.

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