Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Recognition of Sleep Medicine as a Medical Subspecialty

The field of sleep medicine has grown significantly since 700 people attended the first SLEEP annual meeting in June 1986 in Columbus, Ohio. Today sleep medicine is recognized as an independent medical subspecialty. Here are some milestones in the development of the field of sleep medicine:

1964 - The first sleep disorders center opens as a
narcolepsy clinic at Stanford.
1975 – Blue Shield of California begins reimbursing patients for sleep services.
1975 – The Association of Sleep Disorders Centers is formed (later to become the
American Academy of Sleep Medicine)
1977 – American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) grants
accreditation to a sleep center for the first time.
1978 – AASM begins
board certification for sleep specialists.
1989 – AASM begins to accredit
fellowship training programs in sleep medicine.
1995 –
American Medical Association (AMA) recognizes sleep medicine as a self-designated practice specialty.
1997 – AMA grants the AASM a seat in its
House of Delegates.
1997 –
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accredits the AASM as a sponsor of continuing medical education for physicians.
2003 –
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) formally recognizes sleep medicine as an independent subspecialty.
2004 – ACGME approves program requirement for residency education in sleep medicine training.
2006 – Number of
sleep centers and laboratories accredited by the AASM surpasses 1,000.
2007 – The board examination in sleep medicine is administered for the first time by member boards of the
American Board of Medical Specialties.

Source: Shepard JW, Buysse DJ, Chesson AL, et al.
History of the development of sleep medicine in the United States. J Clin Sleep Med 2005;1:61-82.

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