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.
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 American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine to re-enter the certification process. Candidates may petition the board to extend eligibility two additional years once the six-year limit has expired.
In order to be granted re-entry into the certification process, a candidate must meet specific criteria to be recommended by the board. If the board-recommended criteria are not met, the candidate will no longer be eligible to continue the certification process.
Subspecialty Certification Eligibility
To be eligible for AOBEM subspecialty certification, a candidate must:
- Earn primary certification through the AOBEM
- Successfully complete AOA-approved training in Emergency Medical Services or Medical Toxicology.
- Pass a Written Exam in Emergency Medical Services or Medical Toxicology (to be taken following completion of training).
Right to Appeal
If a candidate feels that actions of the AOBEM with regard to any part of the certification process constitute unequal application of the Bylaws or Policies and Procedures, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to the board.
Appeals to the board must be made in writing and should include any supporting document for proper review of the case. You must submit the completed appeal request form to the AOBEM within 24 hours of completing the exam.
The board will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers to exam questions, scoring of the exam, and/or determination of the minimum passing score. If an appeal is denied by the AOBEM, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS).
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOBEM complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBEM 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. All candidates must submit their requests at the time of application and this must be done prior to 45 days from the exam date.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): In compliance with the HIPAA Act of 1996 and any subsequent modifications, the AOBEM 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 AOBEM certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.