Written Exam


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

  • Have completed an AOA-recognized fellowship training track in geriatric medicine by Aug. 15 of the year you intend to take the exam, either:
    • An academic track of two years of geriatric fellowship training which includes experience in clinical geriatrics across the health care continuum, or;
    • A clinical track of at least one year of geriatric fellowship training which provides full-time experience in clinical geriatrics across the health care continuum.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


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 Geriatric Medicine Written Exam is offered in August. The application period opens in December of the previous year.

Exam Content Outline

The Geriatric Medicine Written Exam tests the knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles critical to the practice of Geriatric Medicine. The five-hour exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions in the following areas:

Subspecialty Certification
  1. 1. Principles/biology of aging
  2. 2. Psychosocial issues/ethics
  3. 3. Drug therapy and pharmacokinetics
  4. 4. Special care issues
  5. 5. Rehabilitation
  6. 6. Cardiovascular disorders
  7. 7. Bone and joint disorders
  8. 8. Endocrine disorders
  9. 9. Dermatologic and allergic disorders
  10. 10. Genito-uninary/renal disorders
  11. 11. Hematology/oncology disorders
  12. 12. Neurologic/psychiatric disorders
  13. 13. Pulmonary disorders
  14. 14. Infectious disease
  15. 15. Gastrointestinal disorders
  • 5-9%
  • 11-15%
  • 7-11%
  • 3-7%
  • 7-11%
  • 9-13%
  • 3-7%
  • 2-6%
  • 3-7%
  • 3-7%
  • 2-6%
  • 6-10%
  • 3-7%
  • 3-7%
  • 3-7%

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.