Achieve expertise in your practice by earning board certification through one of the AOA’s 16 specialty certifying boards.

Find Your Specialty

Types of Certification
Primary Certification

Physicians earn primary board certification by meeting requirements in a specified field of medical practice under the jurisdiction of a certifying board.

Types of Certification
Subspecialty Certification

Subspecialty certification is a modification of a primary certificate to reflect at least one year of additional training and satisfactory completion of a certifying exam.

Types of Certification
Certification of Added Qualifications

Issued solely by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians, a Certification of Added Qualifications (CAQ) is a subspecialty certification obtained under AOBFP's jurisdiction.

Physicians earn primary board certification by meeting requirements in a specified field of medical practice under the jurisdiction of a certifying board.

Subspecialty certification is a modification of a primary certificate to reflect at least one year of additional training and satisfactory completion of a certifying exam.

Issued solely by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians, a Certification of Added Qualifications (CAQ) is a subspecialty certification obtained under AOBFP's jurisdiction.

Becoming AOA Board Certified Certifying Boards

  • Board-eligible status begins upon completion of your training program and terminates Dec. 31 of the sixth year after you complete training.
  • You must meet all application and examination requirements defined for primary or subspecialty certification through your specialty certifying board.
  • Upon successful completion of all required exam components, you will receive notification from the AOA once certification has been approved.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to high quality patient care and excellence in your specialty throughout your entire career with OCC.

Requirements for Certification

1. Medical School & Residency

To be eligible for AOA Board Certification, you must have graduated from one of the following:

  • DOs: A COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
  • MDs: A LCME-accredited medical school in the U.S. or Canada; or a medical school outside the U.S., provided you meet one of the following additional requirements:
    • Hold a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment.
    • Have completed a fifth pathway program provided by an LCME-accredited medical school.

In addition, you must fulfill one of the following training requirements:
  • DOs: Obtain "training complete" status from an ACGME/AOA-accredited approved residency training program.
  • DOs and MDs: Obtain “training complete” status from an ACGME osteopathic recognized residency program with documentation that you completed an “osteopathic focused” track.
  • DOs and MDs: Obtain “training complete” status from an ACGME-accredited osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine residency training program.

2. Licensure

You must hold an active license to practice in a state or territory. If you have a restricted license, you may petition a specialty certifying board in order to enter the certification or recertification process based upon a review of the restriction.

3. Ethics

You must follow the AOA Code of Ethics.

4. Specialty Requirements

You must meet any specialty-specific requirements for board certification, which may include training and/or documented professional experience.

5. Exams

You must pass all required certification examinations, which may include written, oral and/or clinical practice components.