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The AOBFP mission is to determine the qualifications required of osteopathic family physicians seeking initial and continued certification awarded by the American Osteopathic Association in the field of family medicine and of any other field that may be assigned, develop the methods of examination to assess those family physicians, administer and evaluate examinations to assess competency and excellence in those fields, and issue the appropriate certification upon the approval of the AOA.
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 AOBFP, candidates must meet the criteria below:
- Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine
- Complete specific training and other requirements for the desired specialty or subspecialty
- Hold an active license to practice in a state or territory
- Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics
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
AOBFP written verification of board eligibility requires your submission of all application documents and fees.
See the AOBFP Handbook for more information.
CAQ Certification Eligibility
To be eligible for AOBFP CAQ certification, a candidate must:
- Earn primary certification through the AOBFP.
- Successfully complete AOA-approved training in Family Medicine or AOA-approved fellowship training in the area in which CAQ certification is offered.
- Pass a written exam in area in which CAQ certification is offered.
AOBFP written verification of board eligibility requires your submission of all application documents and fee.
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 AOBFP for re-entry into the certification process. Reentry into the certification process allows a candidate who has successfully completed a one-year AOA-approved internship and a two year AOA-approved residency, and has verification of residency ‘complete and approved’ status by the AOA, to pursue certification in family medicine.
Upon acceptance by the Board, the candidate must start at the beginning of the certification process. Prior activity toward certification will not be recognized. Candidates must participate in the first available exam administration and will have two attempts to pass each step. If unsuccessful on a given administration, the candidate must participate in the next available exam.
Candidates who are not successful in becoming certified at the end of this first re-entry process may pursue certification only by petitioning the AOBFP for entry into the final pathway process. The final pathway follows the same requirements as the first re-entry process. The AOBFP may require the candidate to fulfill additional requirements prior to sitting for the certification exam.
The candidate is not considered board eligible during this time and verification of such status will not be provided to the candidate. Candidates who are not successful in becoming certified at the end of the final pathway have no further opportunity to become certified.
Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs
Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified physicians seeking primary certification from the AOBFP. 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.
Resolution 56 applications are submitted to the AOA’s Certifying Board Services. Applicants as well as the appropriate specialty board are notified in writing by the AOA of approval of their application and may then file an application with the AOBFP.
Right to Appeal
If a candidate feels that the actions of the AOBFP, with regard to the exam’s administration, 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. The AOBFP will not consider appeals addressing examination content, exam evaluation, or the determination of the minimum passing score.
A candidate must submit a written, signed statement stating the basis for the appeal within 30 days of the date of the exam result letter.
If an appeal is denied by the AOBFP, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) and AOA Board of Trustees.
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOBFP complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBFP complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Board 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. To request an ADA accommodation from the AOBFP, you can submit an ADA Accommodation Application.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): In compliance with the HIPAA Act of 1996 and any subsequent modifications, the Board 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 AOBFP certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.