Subspecialty Certification Exam


To be eligible for subspecialty certification in Geriatric Psychiatry, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Hold active, in-good-standing AOBNP certification in Psychiatry.
  • Successfully complete a one- or two-year AOA-approved Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program.
  • Successfully sit for and pass all sections of the Written Certification Exam.


At the time of application, the applicant must submit the following to the board:

  • Completed application signed and dated by applicant.
  • Notarized passport size photo attached to the application.
  • Copy of current state medical license indicating expiration date.
  • Copy of fellowship certificate from the geriatric psychiatry program, letter from the program director or letter from the section chief documenting the applicant’s:
    • Years of clinical practice.
    • Recognition in the community as a practitioner of Geriatric Psychiatry at least 20% of his/her clinical time.
    • Standard of care provided.
  • In the absence of a knowledgeable residency director aware of the applicant’s status (due to relocation, time, death, etc.), the ACONP may provide documentation.

Exam Fees

An application fee of $1,500 must be submitted with your completed application. This covers the $300 application fee and $1,200 initial examination fee. The late application fee is $350. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

No amount of the examination fee paid shall be returned after the application has been processed..

If an applicant fails any part of the exam, the fee for reexamination is $950.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Certification Exam is offered twice every year. This year it is offered Nov. 14, 2019, in Tucson, Arizona. The application period opens 10 weeks prior to the exam. Applications are due six weeks prior to the exam.

Exam Content

The Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Certification Exam measures the knowledge, skills and judgment of osteopathic psychiatrists who have been properly trained and are experienced geriatric psychiatrists. Topics will include managing patients in a variety of clinical settings, including ambulatory, inpatient, assisted living, and long- term care; the unique interplay of aging physiology and pharmacology; and skills in the diagnosis and management of aging-related mental health problems, including dementia, late-life depression, late-life schizophrenia, delirium and the sequela of iatrogenesis.

Exam Scoring

AOBNP examinations are subjected to conventional psychometric analysis using accepted modern methods of key validation and item scoring.

Subspecialty examinations are in pass/fail format, with all questions evenly weighted.

The board shall notify each applicant of the results of the examination within 90 days of completion of each part of the exam. Successful candidates will be informed that the action of the Board is subject to the final approval of the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists.