Board Eligibility

A physician’s eligibility for AOA board certification begins upon completion of their specialty or subspecialty training program and ends on Dec. 31 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 and have completed an AOA or ACGME-accredited training program OR be a graduate of a LCME-accredited medical school and have completed an ACGME-accredited training program.
  • You must hold a valid, active license to practice medicine in a U.S. state, commonwealth, District of Columbia, or U.S. territory.
  • You must adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
  • You must follow the process as outlined by the board’s requirements and meet any specialty-specific requirements for board certification during the six-year board eligibility period.
  • You must pass all required certification exams.

Clinical Practice Pathway

IMPORTANT:  The Clinical Practice Pathway for Correctional Medicine expires with the 2018 examination. Anyone applying through the clinical pathway must sit for the examination no later than the last offering for 2019. There will be no more clinical pathway applications accepted after the 2019 examination deadline.

If applying via the clinical practice pathway, the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant must hold primary certification awarded by the AOA upon the recommendation of a participating specialty board.
  • The applicant must hold a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in a state of the United Sates; applicants with a restricted, suspended or revoked license in any jurisdiction at the time of application will not be admitted to the examination.
  • The applicant must conform to the ethical and moral standards as set forth in the Code of Ethics of the AOA.
  • Submit documentation of successful completion of the Bureau of Prisons basic course or have accumulated a minimum of 30 hours (within 36 months preceding the application deadline) of Continuing Medical Education in Correctional Medicine including but not limited to: National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC, SCP), American Correctional Health Services (ACHSA), or American Correctional Association (ACA) followed by a formal assessment. All coursework must be in person, NOT online.
  • Documentation of a three-year period in which a minimum of 20% of practice time was in the field of Correctional Medicine must be submitted for review.

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 AOCCMEC for re-entry into the certification process.

Upon acceptance by the Board, the candidate must sit for the next available exam.

Right to Appeal

If a candidate feels that the actions of the AOCCMEC with regard to any part of the examination constitute unequal application of the regulations and requirements or standards, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to this Board.

If an appeal is denied by the AOCCMEC, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS).

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The AOCCMEC complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOCCMEC 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 AOCCMEC 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 AOCCMEC certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.