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.
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 an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
- You must hold an active license to practice medicine in a state or territory.
- You must adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
- You must be a member in good standing of the AOA or Canadian Osteopathic Association.
- You must meet any specialty-specific requirements for board certification.
- 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).
Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs
Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified emergency medicine physicians seeking primary certification from the AOBEM. To be eligible for Resolution 56, 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.
- Be an AOA member in good standing at the time of application. If not a current AOA member, the applicant must pay the full dues amount at time of application. Note that the applicant is not required to hold state or specialty college membership at time of application.
- Meet AOA CME requirements.
- Additional requirements set forth by the specialty board and specialty colleges.
- Complete and submit the Application for AOA Certification Eligibility.
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.
- 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.