Subspecialty Certification Exam


To be eligible for subspecialty certification in Pediatric Dermatology, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine
  • Satisfactorily complete a one-year internship or PGY-1 in an AOA-approved training program.
  • Satisfactorily complete three years of AOA-approved residency training in Dermatology.
  • Must be certified in Dermatology by the AOBD.
  • Must have completed at least one year of an accredited fellowship program in Pediatric Dermatology involving inpatient and outpatient care.
    • Candidates will be approved on a case-by-case basis. Expertise must be documented by one of the following:
      • At least six months of recognized Pediatric Dermatology postdoctoral program involving inpatient and outpatient care. A candidate’s residency certificate or verification from the supervising Pediatric Dermatologist must be submitted with the application; OR
      • Significant pediatric dermatology practice as evidenced by Pediatric Dermatology Practice Case Logs (submitted on the Pediatric Dermatology Case Log Form) demonstrating sufficient inpatient, outpatient care, and consults by the candidate for the preceding three years (minimum of 250 cases, 50 of which are procedural pediatric dermatology cases). In addition, at least 30 CME credits in Pediatric Dermatology during the previous three years of application.
  • Hold an active license to practice in a state or territory.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


At the time of application, you must submit the following to the AOBD:

  • AOBD Pediatric Dermatology application
  • A copy of your PGY-1 diploma
  • Passport size photo
  • Signed applicant statement and ethical certification statement
  • Current copy of curriculum vitae

In addition, fellowship-trained physicians must provide the following:

  • A copy of your fellowship certificate
  • Fellowship case log
  • Letter of recommendation from Pediatric Fellowship Program Director (must be on letterhead with original signature)

In addition, those NOT fellowship-trained in Pediatric Dermatology must provide:

  • 10 case management presentations
  • Pediatric Dermatology case logs
  • Copy of primary certification in Dermatology/AOBD certificate
  • 30 CMEs for Pediatric Dermatology clinical pathway during the previous three years of application

Exam Fees

A non-refundable application fee of $1,800 must be submitted with your completed application. The fee is payable by check or credit card. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. If an applicant fails any part of the exam, the fee for re-examination is $900 for one part or $1,800 for the entire exam.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Pediatric Dermatology Written & Clinical Exam is offered once per year, generally every fall. Applications are due July 1 of each exam year.

Exam Content Outline

Pediatric Dermatology Certification Exam is a two-part exam consisting of a written portion and simulated cases. The written examination includes questions derived from but not limited to the following subjects:

  • Newborn, including newborn skin physiology, transient newborn dermatoses, congenital skin anomalies& lesions, and cutaneous lesions associated with prenatal and natal exposures.
  • Atopic dermatitis, including epidemiology, clinical features, associated disorders and treatment
  • Other dermatitis, such as seborrheic dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, lichen planus, psoriasis, Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris, allergic contact dermatitis, and other papulosquamous disorder
  • Cutaneous infections:
    • Viral – HSV, molluscum, varicella, human papilloma virus, viral exanthems
    • Bacterial – Primary bacterial cutaneous infections, staph and strep infections, toxin-mediated reactions, pseudomonas
    • Secondary bacterial infections
    • Fungal – Candida, dermatophyte, deep fungal
    • Rickettsial /Lyme disease/Bartonella
    • Mycobacterial
    • Cutaneous infections and cutaneous lesions in the immunosuppressed patients
    • Infestations
  • Cutaneous signs of malnutrition
  • Urticaria/ Erythemas/Hypersensitivity Syndromes: Urticaria, serum sickness-like reaction, erythema multiforme, and Steven Johnson and TEN
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders (Pityriasis Lichenoides, lymphomatoid papulosis, cutaneous T cell lymphoma)
  • Immunobullous disorders
  • Vascular and Lymphatic Anomalies
  • Vascular tumors
  • Adnexal disorders and growths
  • Disorders of pigmentation (vitiligo, congenital pigment anomalies)
  • Hair disorders (hair shaft defects, alopecia areata)
  • Nail disorders (congenital, acquired)
  • Melanocytic Nevi
  • Genetic disorders (primary skin disease, skin associated with genetic disorders)
  • Disorders of Fat
  • Histiocytoses
  • Signs of Physical and Sexual Abuse
  • Pediatric Dermatology surgery
  • Vasculitis and collagen vascular disorders
  • Acne, including epidemiology, clinical presentation and treatment
  • Photosensitivity syndromes
  • Drug Eruptions
  • Endocrine disorders of skin
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Cutaneous manifestations of Psychiatric disorders
  • Skin signs of systemic disease

The clinical case presentations section of the exam consists of 10 case scenarios with digital photographs. Candidates will evaluate history intake, physical exam, differential diagnosis and expected laboratory/radiological work up and treatment.

Exam Scoring

Scoring Criteria

AOA reports candidates’ certification results using standardized scaled scores. Scaled scores are more valid and reliable compared to raw scores and make scores comparable across different forms of the exam. The AOA reports scores on a 200 to 800-point scale with a scaled score of 500 or higher required to pass.

  • A scaled score of 500 represents the minimum level of knowledge and skill necessary to pass the exam as established by AOA Certifying Boards.
  • The highest possible scaled score is 800.
  • The lowest possible scaled score is 200.
  • Overall scores are based on the total number of items answered correctly, regardless of content area.

Results by Content Area

  • When possible, a breakdown of exam scores by content area is provided to help you identify your areas of strength and areas that may need more development.
  • The number of items for each content area indicates the relative amount of test questions on the exam for that content area.
  • Content area scores are not weighted to calculate your overall score; each content area is scored separately after the overall analysis is complete.