Dermatopathology Subspecialty Certification Exam


To be eligible for examination and certification in Dermatopathology, the applicant must meet all of the following minimum requirements.

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
  • Hold an unrestricted license to practice in a state or territory.
  • Hold primary board certification from the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology (AOBD) or the American Osteopathic Board of Pathology (AOBP).
  • Complete a one year AOA-approved postgraduate training program in Dermatopathology.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


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

  • A copy of your osteopathic medical school diploma.
  • A copy of your medical license.
  • A copy of your Dermatology or Pathology board certification.
  • Proof of one year of postgraduate training in Dermatopathology and letter of recommendation from program chairman.

Exam Fees

An application fee of $1,800 must be submitted with your completed application, either by check or credit card. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. No amount of the examination fee paid shall be returned after the application has been processed.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Dermatopathology Subspecialty Certification Exam will be offered Sept. 27, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. If no exams are currently listed, please check back soon to find out when future exams will be offered.

Exam Content Outline

The Dermatopathology Subspecialty Certification Exam consists of three parts: Part 1: Written Exam The Written Exam portion contains questions covering representative topics, as follows:

  • Genodermatoses
  • Noninfectious erythematous papular and squamous diseases
  • Vascular diseases
  • Noninfectious vesiculobullous and vesiculopustular diseases
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Drug eruptions
  • Photosensitivity disorders
  • Disorders associated with physical agents
  • Noninfectious granulomas
  • Degenerative diseases and perforating disorders
  • Nutritional deficiency and gastrointestinal disease
  • Metabolic diseases of skin
  • Inflammatory diseases of epidermal appendages and cartilage
  • Inflammatory diseases of the subcutaneous fat
  • Bacterial disease
  • Treponemal diseases
  • Fungal disease
  • Protozon disease
  • Parasitic infestations
  • Viral disease
  • The histiocytoses
  • Pigmentary disorders of the skin
  • Benign pigmented lesions and malignant melanoma
  • Tumors and cysts of the epidermis
  • Tumors of epidermal appendages
  • Cutaneous lymphomas and leukemias
  • Tumors of fibrous tissue
  • Vascular tumors and tumor-like conditions
  • Tumors of fatty, muscular and osseous tissue
  • Tumors of neural tissue
  • Metastatic carcinoma of the skin

Part 2: Clinical Images Clinical dermatology with pathological correlation, electron microscopy, mycology, entomology, etc. Part 3: Digital images of glass slides Candidates will examine sets of representative slides or digital images of glass slides and answer a series of multiple choice questions. Slides will be viewed using ImageScope, an Aperio program that serves as a “virtual microscope,” allowing examiners to slide and rotate images with a scanning power up to 40X. It is highly recommended that candidates download the free Aperio ImageScope to become familiar with manipulating digital slides prior to the exam. Alternatively, candidates may sign in as a guest on Aperio’s slidehosting site to browse slides. More information can be found in the Orientation to Using Virtual (Digital) Slides for Certification Exams.

Exam Scoring

Passing candidates will receive exam results in writing within 90 day of taking their exam. Candidates who pass their exams will be forwarded to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists, which makes the final determination for diplomate status. Once approved, diplomates will receive a letter from the AOA; your certificate will be mailed within 6-10 weeks. The date shown on the certificate represents the date on which you fulfilled all requirements for accreditation as verified by your primary specialty board.

Exam Failure

A candidate who fails any part of the exam may apply to retake that part when the next exam is conducted. If any part of the exam is failed three times, the candidate will be required to complete additional training assigned by the Board prior to re-applying to take the exam.