American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians: Call for Item Writers! Get details

Early Entry Initial Certification Written Exam


The AOBFP Early Entry Initial Certification (EEIC) program allows physicians to seek specialty board certification while still completing their residency. Candidates may opt for board certification in Osteopathic Family Medicine and OMT (OMT Performance Examination required) or Osteopathic Family Medicine.


You are eligible to sit for the Early Entry Initial Certification Written Exam if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a DO in a Family Medicine residency.
  • You are an MD candidate in a designated osteopathic resident position in a Family Medicine program with Osteopathic Recognition (view definitions from ACGME).
  • You are an MD candidate enrolled in a Family Medicine residency and have completed OMT/OPP training (the AOBFP is in the process of establishing requirements for this training).

The following criteria must also be met:

  • You have completed two osteopathic in-service exams (ISE or ISE+) produced and administered by ACOFP.

The chart below indicates timing for the first class of residents to be eligible for early entry.

Eligibility Timeline
Class PGY 1 PGY 2 PGY 3 Early Entry
2019/20 In-service exams:
October 2017
In-service exams:
October 2018
In-service exams:
October 2019
Eligible for EEIC:
Feb/Mar 2020
2020/21  In-service exams:
October 2018
 In-service exams:
October 2019
 In-service exams:
October 2020
Eligible for EEIC:
1Q 2021
2021/22  In-service exams:
October 2019
 In-service exams:
October 2020
 In-service exams:
October 2021
Eligible for EEIC:
1Q 2022


Once eligibility criteria is met, applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed application
  • Required fees
  • Verification that you completed two AOBFP In-Service Exams during your residency
  • A Statement of Understanding for Issuance Certification form
  • MDs in Family Medicine residency programs without osteopathic recognition: Documentation of 50 hours of OMT/OPP training during residency

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $400 must be submitted with your completed application.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Early Entry Initial Certification Written (Cognitive) Exam will be administered at PearsonVUE testing centers nationwide between Jan. 16-30, 2021.

Application period opens: Mid-August
Application deadlines: Oct. 31, 2020; filing with late fees through Dec. 15, 2020

Exam Content

The Early Entry Initial Certification exam is designed to measure the competency and knowledge, skills, abilities and judgments of qualified osteopathic family practice physicians.

The exam will consist of 200 scored single-option multiple choice items and 15-25 unscored items. Unscored items are included in the exam to gather statistics and item performance data. The unscored items will be indistinguishable from the scored items, so the examinee should always select the best possible answer for each item.

This is a 3.5-hour exam with one optional 15-minute break. Candidates are not permitted to leave the building during this break. Candidates may access personal items such as medication and food only if necessary.

Early Entry Certification: Family Medicine
Addiction Medicine 3%
Preventive Medicine 5%
Psychiatry 4%
Medical Jurisprudence 3%
Allergy/Immunology including Rheumatology 5%
Cardiology 5%
Dermatology 5%
Endocrinology 5%
Gastroenterology 5%
Hematology 4%
Nephrology/Urology 4%
Neurology 5%
Osteopathic principles and practice 12%
Pulmonology 5%
Geriatrics 5%
General surgery 3%
Orthopedics 5%
Obstetrics and gynecology 4%
Pediatrics 5%
Sports medicine 3%

The above percentages are offered as a guideline only and may change with each exam administration.

Exam Scoring

The AOBFP sets passing standards for the Early Entry Initial Certification exam using a measurement model known as “criterion-referenced standard setting.” Using this model, the board specifies the particular content and level of content difficulty necessary to be considered a passing candidate.

All examination results will be reviewed by the board. Candidates are informed of results by email within eight weeks. Candidates who do not pass the exam will receive notification via email.

Exam Failure

Candidates who do not pass the certification examination may apply for reexamination at the next administration unless additional requirements apply. The reexamination fee is $400 and requires the submission of an online application.