Physician Certification in Wound Care
Exam format: 165 questions
Certification duration: 10 years
This exam is available to all physicians (MD, DO, DPM). The physician must:
- Have a current State Medical License
- Provide verification of a minimum of two years clinical experience in wound care
- Provide verification of completion of at least 20 hours of wound care based continuing medical education credit
- Provide documentation of membership in a professional wound care society (Optional- Members of the APWCA can qualify for fellow status)
The exam will focus on the principles involved in the diagnosis, assessment, and management of complex acute and chronic wounds.
Subject Matter Domains:
- Diagnosis and Management of Diabetic Ulcers, Venous and Arterial Insufficiency Ulcers, Pressure Ulcers, Surgical and Traumatic Wounds, and Atypical Wounds
- Physiology of Wound Healing
- The Diagnosis and Management of Wound Infection
- Appropriate Utilization of Advanced Modalities
- Medical-Legal Aspects of Wound Care, Documentation
You will need to take the examination within a year’s timeframe of receiving your approval letter. Failing to test within one year will result in the loss of your examination fee.
After the initial certification period of 10 years, clinicians wishing to maintain active status of their certification in wound care must take the recertification exam as well as confirm continued active practice in the field of wound care. Recertification candidates must submit verification of continued active wound care practice during the period of the prior 12 months. Successful completion of the recertification process will provide a 10 year renewal of the certificate of added qualification.
Exam Preparation: To prepare for the exam, you are encouraged to study:
- “WOUND CARE ESSENTIALS – Practice Principles” 4th Edition.
Sharon Baranoski, MSN, RN and Elizabeth A. Ayello, PhD, RN. Eds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016
- “TEXTBOOK OF CHRONIC WOUND CARE: An Evidence-Based Approach for Diagnosis and Treatment” 1st Edition. Jayesh B. Shah, MD; Paul J. Sheffield, PhD; Caroline E. Fife, MD.
- “WOUND CARE CERTIFICATION STUDY GUIDE” 2nd Edition. Jayesh B. Shah, MD; Paul J. Sheffield, PhD; Caroline E. Fife, MD.
The Benefit of ABWH Physician Certification in Wound Care versus other exams:
The ABWH Physician Certification in Wound Care is the only certification process endorsed by several professional societies. The American Professional Wound Care Association (APWCA) only endorses the ABWH exam. Successful completion of the ABWH examination process by members of the APWCA allows the special recognition and distinction as Fellows of the APWCA, or use of the designation FAPWCA. The APWCA is the largest professional wound care society with an active membership of nearly 3,000 which includes more physicians and podiatrists than any other professional society. Additionally, The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine recognizes and endorses the ABWH as providing the exam for physician certification in wound care. The exam was written and validated by physicians, and created in response to requests from hospital credentialing committees for a certification process resulting in verification of clinical competency in wound care. Certification in the specialty of wound care is the clinician’s professional mark of achievement, and more importantly a seal of quality care for the public and patients. As a physician specific examination, the ABWH believes this exam will serve as the foundation for specialty recognition.
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