RhMSUS™ Process

Participation in the Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Certification in Rheumatology™ - RhMSUS™ program is voluntary and open to anyone who meets the eligibility requirements.

ACR has partnered with Castle Worldwide, Inc. to manage the process. You may be directed to/from Castle while applying.

Steps to RhMSUS™ Certification

Step 1: View Eligibility Requirements and Select Your Pathway

There are four pathways to eligibility. Each pathway contains career status, medical license possession, and musculoskeletal ultrasound scan experience/education requirements. All requirements for your selected pathway must be completed prior to submitting your application for the examination. Membership in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) or Association for Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) is not required.

Pathway 1- U.S. trained rheumatologist
Pathway 2 - Non-U.S. trained rheumatologist
Pathway 3 - Rheumatology fellow-in-training
Pathway 4 - Physician assistant or nurse practitioner

Find your eligibility pathway>

Step 2: Prepare your CME and Scan Documentation

Each pathway has requirements for a minimum amount of MSUS ultrasound CME credits and MSUS scans performed.

CME Activities Criteria

  1. All activities must comply with the ACCME Essential Area and Policies.
  2. The activity must offer a minimum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and at least 40% of the total CME hours must be dedicated to mentored hands-on scanning practice sessions.
  3. For hands-on scanning practice, there must be no more than five learners per faculty member.
  4. Each activity must have at least one faculty member that is a rheumatologist.
  5. At least 20% of the didactic portion of the course should cover diagnosis of disease pathology.
  6. If commercial support is received, the sponsoring organization must attest to:
    • Complying with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities.
    • Using ultrasound equipment from more than one commercial entity.

Credits earned outside of the required “at least 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from a single course that includes hands-on scanning practice” must be AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ specifically related to MSUS.

In case of application audit, a copy of the earned CME certificate(s) must be submitted.

For more information see RhMSUS ™ CME Activity Checklist in Appendix E of the Candidate Handbook (pg. 22).

Scan Log Criteria

Ultrasound scans can be limited or complete, diagnostic, or therapeutic. For each unique patient/subject/model, no more than one scan per day can be logged.

In case of application audit, a log with the information included on the Sample Patient/Practice Scan Log or a billing log (both without identifying information in conformity with HIPAA) must be submitted for proof of the number of scans completed.

Step 3: View Application Deadlines and Testing Windows

Applications are accepted on a continual basis and candidates can select their desired testing window during the application process. Candidates are strongly encouraged to complete their applications at least 60 days prior to the desired testing date. The examination is offered twice a year in the spring and fall during a one-month window. If a candidate misses the deadline, his/her application will be credited toward the next window.

Fall 2018

  • Application Deadline: September 14
  • Testing Window: October 15 - November 15

Spring 2019

  • Application Deadline: March 29
  • Late Application Deadline ($50 late fee): April 12
  • Testing Window: May 15 - June 15

Step 4: Find your Fee

The certification registration fee includes the processing of the application, examination registration, and one testing appointment.

Category Fee
ACR/ARHP Members
Individuals who have been elected to membership and are current on their dues
$1,500
Non-ACR/ARHP Members
Individuals who are not ACR/ARHP members
$1,750
ACR Fellows-in-Training Members
Fellows-in-training who have been elected membership and are current on their dues
$950
Non-Member Fellows-in-Training
Fellows-in-training who have not been elected to membership; must include a letter from their program director, chief of service, or faculty advisor to be eligible for this rate
$1,025
Late Applications
Applications are accepted up to 30 days prior to the opening of the testing window.
$50
Retest
Candidates who fail the examination will receive information on scheduling a second testing appointment.
$100
International Testing Site
Candidates can take the examination at an international testing site for an additional fee collected at the time of scheduling.
$150

Step 5: Apply

All requirements for your selected pathway must be completed prior to submitting your application for the examination. During the application, candidates must upload a copy of their medical license and attest that they can provide documentation (e.g. copies of earned AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, scan/billing log, etc.) that supports their compliance with the eligibility criteria for the selected pathway.

Candidates must complete an online application and a multiple-choice, computer-based examination.

Apply Now

Step 6: Schedule your Examination

The examination will take place at Castle internet-based testing sites located throughout the United States. Thirty days before the testing window opens, a Castle representative will contact you by email to schedule your examination. Seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, based on test center availability.

International Testing Sites

Candidates can take the examination at an international testing site for an additional $150 that will be collected at the time of scheduling.

Step 7: Prepare for Your Examination

The examination consists of 100 multiple-choice questions based on the following domains.

Domain I Recognize Indications for the Use of Ultrasound in Rheumatology
Domain II Preparing the Patient and Environment
Domain III Equipment Use and Management
Domain IV Performing the Ultrasound Examination
Domain V Interpretation and Integration
Domain VI Procedural Guidance
Domain VII Documentation

The Candidate Handbook contains the following resources to help you prepare for the examination.

  • Full Test Content Outline - Appendix F
  • Sample Questions - Appendix G
  • Recommended References - Appendix H
  • Exam Preparation Tips - Appendix J

To help you become familiar with the computer-based testing system, Castle provides an online demonstration and tutorial that is accessible anytime, anywhere. This demo is not a review of the RhMSUS™ examination content.

Step 8: Receive your Examination Results

Examination results are mailed to the address provided on the application approximately six weeks after the testing window closes. Examination results will be released only in writing by mail. Examination results will not be released by telephone or fax. Candidates who need to update their mailing address should contact Castle at testing@castleworldwide.com.

Candidates who pass the examination will receive a personalized certificate and wallet card.

A percentage of candidate applications will be audited to ensure compliance with the eligibility criteria. Applications for audit will be selected randomly. If your application is selected for audit, you will receive instructions on how to supply satisfactory documentation that supports your compliance with the eligibility criteria before your certificate is released.

Candidates who do not pass the examination may retest in the next testing window. Candidates may not take the examination more than two times in any 12-month period. Candidates who need to retest will receive a Notice to Schedule email 45 days before the next testing window. During the scheduling process, candidates will be prompted to pay the retake fee of $100.

Step 9: Recertify

Recertification is required at ten-year intervals effective on the date of RhMSUS™ certification. To complete the recertification process, the candidate must complete the following:

  1. Present documentation verifying the completion of a minimum of 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ in musculoskeletal ultrasound within 60 months preceding the recertification process.
  2. Present documentation verifying the completion of a minimum of 100 musculoskeletal ultrasound scans have been completed within 24 months prior to recertification.
  3. Pass a computer-based recertification examination.
  4. Pay a recertification fee.