Board Eligibility

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.

To be eligible for certification from the AOCCMEC, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
  • Satisfactorily complete a two-year fellowship in an AOA- or ACGME-approved correctional medicine training program.
  • Specific training and other requirements for the desired specialty or subspecialty.
  • Hold an unrestricted license to practice in a state or territory.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.

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.

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.

Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs

Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified physicians seeking subspecialty certification from the AOCCUHM. To be eligible for Resolution 56, ABMS-certified osteopathic physicians must meet the following requirements:

  • Be certified by the 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:
    • The pathway must have been completed prior to 1995; and
    • The candidate must meet any additional requirements set by the specialty board for certification.
  • 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 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.