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 AOBD, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
  • Satisfactorily complete a one-year internship in an AOA-approved training program.
  • Satisfactorily complete three years of AOA-approved training in dermatology.
  • Be deemed program complete by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
  • Hold an unrestricted license to practice in a state or territory.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.

Candidates must petition the Board for entry into the initial pathway process. Candidates must enter at the beginning of the Board’s certification process and must follow the process as outlined by the Board’s requirements during the six years of board eligibility.

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.

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 AOBD for re-entry into the certification process. The petition must include:

  • Active, unrestricted license to practice medicine.
  • Conformity to the AOA Code of Ethics.
  • Completion of 100 hours of dermatology CME and board review courses within two years of the candidate’s petition to sit for the exam.

If accepted by the Board, the physician will become board eligible for three years or two consecutive attempts to pass the exam.

Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs

Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified physicians seeking primary certification from the AOBD. 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.
  • 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 the actions of the AOBD 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 by contacting aobd@osteopathic.org.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The Board is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for candidates who meet ADA eligibility. The Board will provide or allow the use of necessary auxiliary aids, services or testing conditions that do not fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge intended to be tested.

In order to effectively implement this policy, candidates must notify the AOBD at the time of application (no later than August 1 of the year of exam). This deadline allows the AOBD to request the necessary documentation, to review the records and to verify the disability.

The Board supports the intent of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for all patients or patient records that may be used as part of any part of the AOBD board certification process.


The AOBD has authority to recommend to the Bureau the revocation of any diplomate’s certificate that was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation or who exploits the certificate, violates the AOA Code of Ethics, or is otherwise disqualified.

Upon official action revoking a certification, a diplomate’s name will be removed from the certification register of the AOA. Reinstatement of a revoked certificate requires approval from the AOBD and the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists.