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Over the last couple of years the National Headache Foundation has developed a program to better help you—the headache and migraine sufferer. The Certificate of Added Qualification (AQH) in Headache Medicine was reinstated to better set the standards for headache practice and assist those with headache in locating clinicians who could provide optimal headache-related health care.

The National Headache Foundation successfully executed its first exam in October. In March, the latest exam was administered and the National Headache Foundation would like to congratulate the next class.

Before AQH, the requirements to obtain a subspecialty in headache medicine had become restrictive. These restrictions prevented many healthcare practitioners from receiving acknowledgment for their work, experience, and abilities in headache medicine. As a service to those experiencing headache, the Board of the NHF determined the NHF-endorsed AQH would be reinstated.

Candidates for AQH must be licensed healthcare practitioners who are permitted to independently evaluate and treat patients. This includes not only physicians but advanced practice nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, and psychologists. The AQH credential will make it easier for headache sufferers to find competent providers for their headache care and to have confidence that the professionals involved in their care have demonstrated competency in the field of headache medicine.

All AQH-certified healthcare practitioners demonstrated their medical license is in good standing; documented three or more years involved in headache medicine, and successfully completed a competency examination developed through a combined effort of headache experts in accordance with the industry. The examination committee consisted of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists, and clinical psychologists—all with many years of experience in headache medicine.

This is just the first step in developing a program the National Headache Foundation believes will greatly improve the treatment and care of headache and migraine sufferers. AQH is an important aspect of the National Headache Foundation’s mission: To cure headache, and end its pain and suffering.

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