A physician’s eligibility for AOA board certification begins upon completion of their specialty or subspecialty training program and ends on Dec. 31st of the following sixth year.
Board eligibility status will be automatically terminated in the following circumstances:
- After completion of the board eligibility timeframe.
- Upon denial of an appeal to extend the board eligibility timeframe for an individual.
- Upon award of certification.
The following eligibility requirements must be met for AOA board certification:
- You must be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
- You must hold an active license to practice medicine in a state or territory.
- You must adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
- You must meet any specialty-specific requirements for board certification.
- You must pass all required certification exams.
Re-Entry into the Certification Process
A physician who has not obtained final certification at the end of six years of board eligibility may petition the American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology to re-enter the certification process, but they will be required to restart the process from the beginning and must participate in the first available administration of the exam. The candidate will have two attempts to pass each step of the exam process. If unsuccessful on a given exam, the candidate must participate in the next available exam.
Candidates who fail any exam required for certification (written, oral or clinical) three times must re-enter the certification process from the beginning and participate in the first available administration of the exam. The candidate will have two attempts to pass each step of the exam process. If unsuccessful on a given exam, the candidate must participate in the next available exam.
In order to be granted re-entry into the certification process, a candidate must meet some or all of the following criteria (specific requirements will be determined by the board):
- Postgraduate study in Anesthesiology or one of its subspecialties.
- Earn CME aimed at a review of the specialty of Anesthesiology or one of its subspecialties.
- Be mentored by a certified anesthesiologist or ABA equivalent for a specified period of time.
- Complete additional training in Anesthesiology or one of its subspecialties.
- Any other requirements the AOBA may require.
If the board-recommended criteria are not met, the candidate will no longer be eligible to continue the certification process.
Subspecialty Certification Eligibility
To be eligible for subspecialty certification through the American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology in Critical Care Medicine, Pain Management or Pediatric Anesthesiology, a candidate must:
- Achieve primary certification through the AOBA.
- Successfully complete at least a one-year training program in Pain Management, Critical Care Medicine or Pediatric Anesthesiology. Training is not considered complete until all required documentation is approved by the AOA Council on Postdoctoral Training, American Osteopathic Association and American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology.
- Have practiced as a specialist in Pain Management, Critical Care Medicine or Pediatric Anesthesiology for a minimum of one year prior to applying for subspecialty certification.
Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs
Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified anesthesiologists seeking primary certification from the AOBA. To be eligible for Resolution 56, ABMS-certified osteopathic physicians must meet the following requirements:
- Be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and have completed residency training prior to submitting an application. Note that ABMS-certified osteopathic physicians who participated in a clinical pathway (in lieu of completing a residency program) to achieve ABMS certification may be allowed to enter the certification process under the following conditions:
- Pathway must have been completed prior to 1995; and
- Candidate must meet any additional requirements set by the specialty board for certification.
- Applicants may be subject to additional requirements and fees as designated by the certifying board.
- Complete and submit the application and release of information form.
Right to Appeal
If a candidate feels that actions of the AOBA with regard to any part of the certification process constitute unequal application of the Bylaws or Policies and Procedures, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to the board.
Appeals to the board can be made by submitting an Appeal Request Form [link], along with any supporting documentary material necessary for proper review of the case. The Appeal Request Form must be submitted within seven days after completion of the exam.
The board will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers to exam questions, scoring of the exam, and/or determination of the minimum passing score.
Candidates will be advised by certified mail within 30 days of final action of the board.
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOBA complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBA complies with requirements prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, as well as regulations for Title II and Title III (and all subsequent regulations) as printed in the federal register.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): In compliance with the HIPAA Act of 1996 and any subsequent modifications, the AOBA ensures that individuals’ health information is properly protected, while allowing the flow of health information to provide and promote high quality health care. All medical records submitted for review by candidates for AOBA certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.