Board Eligibility

A physician’s eligibility for AOA board certification begins upon completion of their specialty or subspecialty training program and ends on Dec. 31 of the following sixth year.

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

  • After completion of the board eligibility timeframe.
  • 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 and have completed an AOA or ACGME-accredited training program OR be a graduate of a LCME-accredited medical school and have completed an ACGME-accredited training program.
  • You must hold a valid, active license to practice medicine in a U.S. state, commonwealth, District of Columbia, or U.S. territory.
  • You must adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
  • You must follow the process as outlined by the board’s requirements and meet any specialty-specific requirements for board certification during the six-year board eligibility period.
  • 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.

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).

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.