IP Board Exam Blueprint

Interventional Pulmonology Board Certification Examination Content (PDF)


Purpose of the Exam

The examination is designed to evaluate the knowledge, diagnostic reasoning, and clinical judgment skills expected of a board-certified interventional pulmonologist in the broad domain of the discipline. The ability to make appropriate diagnostic and management decisions that have significant consequences for patients will be assessed.

Exam content and format

Exam content is determined by a pre-established blueprint or table of specifications. The blueprint is developed by AABIP, reviewed annually, and updated as needed for currency. Trainees, training program directors, and certified interventional pulmonologists in the discipline are surveyed periodically to provide feedback and inform the blueprinting process.

The exam comprises multiple-choice questions with a single best answer, predominantly describing patient scenarios. Clinical information may include patient photographs, radiographs, computed tomography imaging, video, and other media to illustrate relevant patient findings.

There are 2 primary domains, Disease Specific Knowledge and Procedural Knowledge, which constitute 58% and 42% of the examination, respectively.

The 2 domains can be expanded for additional detail, as shown below. Each medical content category is listed below, with content subsections and specific topics that may appear in the exam. Actual exam content may vary.

Disease Specific Knowledge

Physiology and Anesthesia: 6.7%
  • Physiology (e.g., malignant and non-malignant central airway obstruction, asthma/COPD, pleural diseases, etc.)
  • General Anesthesia, moderate sedation, deep sedation, analgesia, and jet ventilation

Malignant airway obstruction: 5.9%

Non-malignant airway obstruction: 3.7%

Comprehensive evaluation and management of patients with thoracic malignancies, lung cancer and other intrathoracic malignancies: 12.6%
  • Lung Cancer Screening
  • Smoking cessation
  • Lung Cancer Staging
  • Molecular (genetic) markers
  • Immune markers
  • Sample handling, including rapid onsite evaluation (ROSE)
  • Medical treatment of lung cancer including chemotherapy, radiation, targeted and immunotherapy
  • Medical and surgical complications of lung cancer therapy
  • Other intrathoracic malignancies including mesothelioma
Pleural diseases: 6.7%
  • Parapneumonic effusions and empyema
  • Alveolar/broncho-pleural fistulas
  • Pneumothorax
  • Non-malignant effusions
  • Malignant effusions
Surgical interventions: 3%
  • Laryngeal and tracheal resection
  • Tracheoplasty and tracheal reconstruction
  • Surgical tracheostomy
  • Suspension laryngoscopy
  • Lung resection, including robotic, VATS and thoracotomy
  • Mediastinoscopy

Ethics and palliative care: 3.7%

Endoscopic therapeutic approaches in COPD: 2.2%

Diagnostic approaches to the peripheral nodule: 8%

Complications of lung transplantation: 3%

Non-malignant lung disease workup: 1.5%
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (e.g., cryobiopsy)
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Infections including Covid-19
Biostatistics: 0.7%

Procedural Knowledge

Pleural procedures: 6.7%
  • Tube thoracostomy
  • Tunneled pleural catheters
  • Medical thoracoscopy
  • Pleurodesis
  • Pleural biopsy
  • Ultrasonography
  • Thoracentesis

Convex and radial EBUS: 5.9%

Navigational bronchoscopy, robotic bronchoscopy, and cone-beam CT guided bronchoscopy: 5.9%

Rigid bronchoscopy/foreign body retrieval: 5.2%

Ablation procedures: 5.2%
  • Electrocautery
  • Argon plasma coagulation (APC)
  • Laser
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • Brachytherapy
  • Cryotherapy

Balloon tracheoplasty and bronchoplasty: 3%

Tracheobronchial stents: 5.2%

Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR): 1.5%

Percutaneous tracheotomy: 3%

Coding and billing for bronchoscopy: 0.7%

Updated: 10/01/2023

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