Board Eligibility

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.

Board eligibility status will be automatically terminated in the following circumstances:

  • After completion of the board eligibility timeframe. Board eligibility is valid for the year of which the candidate has been accepted to sit for the certifying examination and terminates on April 1 of the next year unless the candidate reapplies.
  • Upon denial of an appeal to extend the board eligibility timeframe for an individual.
  • Upon award of certification.

The following eligibility requirements must be met for AOA board certification:

  • You must be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.
  • You must hold an active license to practice medicine in a state or territory.
  • You must adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
  • You must meet any specialty-specific requirements for board certification.
  • You must pass all required certification exams.

Re-Entry into the Certification Process

If a candidate does not initiate examination within the period of board eligibility, then board eligibility status will be automatically lost and so recorded by the AOA and the Board. In such cases, candidates cannot re-register for board eligibility status, but may be eligible to petition the Board for reentry into the certification process outlined in Article VIII of the Policies and Procedures of the BOS.

To re-enter the certification process, candidates must:

  • Hold active licensure in all states where they hold a medical license.
  • Have documentation of acquisition of 150 applicable hours of CME for most recent completed AOA cycle. Of these 150 CMEs, 50 hours per cycle must be Category 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B NMM/OMM specialty specific CME approved by the AOBNMM.
  • Make payment of the application and examination fees at the time of application.

In order to be granted re-entry into the certification process, a candidate must meet specific criteria to be recommended by the board. If the board-recommended criteria are not met, the candidate will no longer be eligible to continue the certification process.

Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs

Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified physicians seeking primary certification from the AOBNMM. 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.
  • Additional requirements and fees as designated by the certifying board.
  • Complete and submit the application and release of information form.

Right to Appeal

If a candidate feels that actions of the AOBNMM with regard to any part of the certification process constitute unequal application of the Bylaws or Policies and Procedures, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to the board.

Appeals to the board must be made in writing and should include any supporting documentation for proper review of the case. The appeal must be submitted within 24 hours of completion of the examination. Appeals can be sent to aobnmm@osteopathic.org or given to certification board staff at the exam administration site.

The board will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers to exam questions, scoring of the exam, and/or determination of the minimum passing score. If an appeal is denied by the AOBNMM, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS).

View all policies.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The AOBNMM complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBNMM 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.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA):In compliance with the HIPAA Act of 1996 and any subsequent modifications, the AOBNMM 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 AOBNMM certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.