What is a physician nutrition specialist®? A Physician Nutrition Specialist® (PNS) is an expert in clinical nutrition who is committed to applying rigorous, evidence based medicine to clinical nutrition practice. Physician Nutrition Specialists devote a substantial career effort to nutrition and can assume a leadership role in coordinating interdisciplinary clinical nutrition services and education in academic health centers, community medical centers, private practice, industry, and other health care settings. PNSs have earned an M.D.s, D.O.s or equivalent, and generally have completed residency in the specialties of internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, or general surgery, and sometimes in subspecialties such as adult or pediatric gastroenterology, endocrinology, critical care, nephrology, cardiology, or others.

Why should I take the examination? NBPNS certification will be a benchmark for assuring mastery of knowledge and training by Physician Nutrition Specialists®. It will help to:

- Distinguish physicians who are truly specialists in nutrition and will assist the public in choosing a Physician Nutrition Specialist®.

- It will assist health professionals and organizations to assess the competence of individual Physician Nutrition Specialists®.

- NBPNS board certification can be invaluable in terms of establishing a trust with patients and the doctors who refer them.

- When speaking publicly about nutritional management, NBPNS board certification can add to your credibility.

Training Standards/Eligibility for Physician Nutrition Specialist® (PNS)

  1. Current licensure to practice medicine in the US, or the equivalent in other countries. All candidates for certification and recertification must be licensed to practice medicine in the country in which they reside.
  2. ABMS Board certification or the equivalent outside the US.
  3. Demonstrated expertise in nutrition defined by one or more of the following: 
    1. Mentored training in clinical nutrition (requires letter of recommendation from mentor).
    2. Dedicated service on a hospital Multidisciplinary Nutrition Team (requires letter of recommendation from hospital chief of staff or physician head of department).
    3. Performance of research with publications in nutrition (provide documentation on curriculum vitae).
    4. Teaching position involving nutrition at an academic medical center (requires letter of recommendation from department chairman).
    5. Committee membership and/or leadership role in a national nutrition society (provide documentation on curriculum vitae).
    6. Completion of a minimum of 150 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) devoted to clinical nutrition (provide CME documentation).
    7. Regional peer-recognized leadership role in nutrition (requires letter of recommendation from peer in community).

Upcoming Exam Dates and Application Deadlines 

Fall 2015 Examination Dates*: 
Exam Period: Saturday, November 7 – Saturday, November 21, 2015 
Application Deadline: October 1, 2015 

Winter 2016 Examination Date 
Austin, TX only 
Exam Date: Sunday, January 17, 2016 
Application Deadline: December 15, 2014 

Spring 2016 Examination Dates*: 
Exam Period: Saturday, May 7 – Saturday, May 21, 2016 
Application Deadline: April 1, 2016 

Fall 2016 Examination Dates*: 
Exam Period: Saturday, November 5 – Saturday, November 19, 2016 
Application Deadline: October 3, 2016 

*Candidates select their own date and time within the exam period. 


Download Candidate Handbook/Exam Application