Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Written Exam for subspecialty certification in Gastroenterology:

  • Have completed three years of AOA-recognized subspecialty training in Gastroenterology. You must have completed the training by Aug. 15 of the year you intend to sit for the Written Exam. If training was completed before Sept. 1, 2002, two years of training are required.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


Requirements Once training requirements for eligibility are met, candidates must submit the following:

  • A completed application.
  • Required fees.
  • Proof of an active medical license.
  • Initial applicants and applicants who have not completed their training must submit a Program Director report verifying clinical competence and the completion date of an AOA-recognized fellowship training program.
  • If you completed your training in an ACGME fellowship program, submit a letter from the AOA stating that the ACGME fellowship training has been AOA-recognized.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $800 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Exam applications submitted after June 1 will incur a non-refundable $200 late fee. No applications will be accepted after July 1. All cancellations must be made in writing. No exam fees are refunded unless the candidate withdraws from the examination process, which will result in a loss of board eligibility. Otherwise, candidates’ fees are credited toward the next year’s examination, less the applicable cancellation fee, and will remain board eligible until June 1 of the following year. Cancellation fees are as follows:

  • Before June 1: $100 cancellation fee
  • Between June 1 and July 1: $400 cancellation fee
  • After July 1: $800 cancellation fee

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Gastroenterology Written Exam is offered in August. The application period opens the previous year, starting in December.

Exam Content Outline

The Gastroenterology Written Exam tests the knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles critical to the practice of Gastroenterology. The seven-hour exam consists of 300 multiple choice questions in the following areas:

Subspecialty Certification
  1. 1. Disorders of the esophagus
  2. 2. Disorders of the stomach
  3. 3. Disorders of the duodenum
  4. 4. GI hemorrhage
  5. 5. Disorders of the small bowel
  6. 6. Disorders of the colon
  7. 7. Disorders of the peritoneum, mesentery and omentum
  8. 8. GI endocrinology
  9. 9. Disorders of the gallbladder/bile ducts
  10. 10. Disorders of the pancreas
  11. 11. Nutrition
  12. 12. Pancreatic endocrine tumors
  13. 13. Functional GI disorders
  14. 14. Liver transplantation
  15. 15. Acute and chronic viral hepatitis
  16. 16. Infections of the liver
  17. 17. Inherited and metabolic disorders of the liver
  18. 18. Cirrhosis/hepatic encephalopathy
  19. 19. Toxic/Drug-induced liver disease
  • 6-10%
  • 3-7%
  • 6-10%
  • 1-4%
  • 1-5%
  • 8-22%
  • 2-6%
  • 1-5%
  • 6-10%
  • 7-11%
  • 3-7%
  • 1-4%
  • 1-5%
  • 1-3%
  • 3-7%
  • 1-5%
  • 1-4%
  • 1-5%
  • 1-5%

Exam Scoring

The AOBIM sets passing standards for the Written 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. Results will be released electronically through the AOBIM’s application portal. Candidates must be program complete and maintain AOA membership in order to access electronic results.