Dear Dr. Nasca:
The American Board of Clinical Chemistry (ABCC), the certification board of the American
Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), certifies individuals with doctoral-level degrees in
the practice of clinical chemistry, toxicological chemistry, and molecular diagnostics. The
federal government, and many state governments, recognize ABCC certification as an essential
criterion for laboratory professionals to demonstrate their competency to direct clinical
In addition to directing high-complexity laboratories, ABCC Diplomates serve as instructors in
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited pathology
residency programs. Although many PhD, DABCC certified individuals teach in these residency
programs, they are barred from serving as “Core” faculty by ACGME. By ACGME rule, only
physicians can serve as Core faculty in an ACGME certified residency program.
Exclusion as Core faculty is a significant concern for ABCC Diplomates since it raises questions
from administrators regarding dedicated teaching time for non-Core faculty and in some cases,
eliminates graduate medical education salary adjustments that cover time spent teaching. While
this rule may be appropriate in certain specialties (e.g., internal medicine), it is not justified for
pathology residency programs where board-certified clinical chemists are an integral part of the
Education in pathology residency programs is a team effort, not strictly the purview of physician
faculty. In fact, ACGME requires residents in anatomic and clinical pathology programs to
participate in a clinical chemistry rotation—a rotation that is generally under the supervision of
an ABCC diplomate. The continued participation of PhD, ABCC Diplomates in these programs
is vital to training the next generation of clinical pathologists. We request that ACGME
recognize the contributions of ABCC certified clinical chemists in the training of pathology
residents by allowing them to serve as Core faculty members.
AACC is a global scientific and medical professional organization dedicated to clinical
laboratory science and its application to healthcare. AACC brings together more than 50,000
clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from
around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry,
translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of laboratory medicine to advance
healthcare collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation.
We look forward to working with you on this important matter. If you have any questions,
please email Vince Stine, PhD, AACC Director of Government Affairs, at [email protected].
Michael J. Bennett PhD, FRCPath, FACB, DABCC