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.
Verification of Board Eligibility
The AOBOG is authorized by the American Osteopathic Association to provide primary source verification of Board Eligibility. The information that will be disclosed is whether or not an osteopathic physician is Board Eligible and/or currently in the certification process in one of the following practices of medicine under the jurisdiction of the AOBOG; all other information is confidential.
- Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
- Gynecologic Oncology
- Maternal Fetal Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
Please send requests for board eligibility information and a check payable to the AOBOG in the amount of $25 to:
American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
c/o AOA Certifying Board Services
142 E. Ontario St., 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Re-Entry into the Certification Process
A physician who has not obtained final certification at the end of six years of board eligibility may petition the AOBOG in writing for re-entry into the certification process. The petition must include the following:
- Copy of a current CV
- Copy of the letter (from ACOOG if osteopathically-trained or AOA if allopathically-trained) stating that your training is complete
In addition, candidates must hold a current, active state medical license in order for their petition to be accepted. The AOBOG office will verify this information for you.
Upon acceptance by the Board, the candidate must start at the beginning of the certification process. Prior activity toward certification will not be recognized. Candidates must participate in the first available exam administration and will have two attempts to pass the exam. If unsuccessful on a given administration, the candidate must participate in the next available exam.
Candidates who are not successful in becoming certified at the end of this first re-entry process may pursue certification only by petitioning the AOBOG for entry into the final pathway process. The final pathway follows the same requirements as the first re-entry process. In addition, the AOBOG requires the candidate to earn 25 AOA Category 1 CME credits in the specialty or subspecialty and completion of an AOBOG-approved board review course prior to sitting for the certification exam.
Candidates who were not successful in becoming certified at the end of the final pathway have no further opportunity to become certified.
AOA Recognition of Allopathic Training
Osteopathic physicians who trained in allopathic residencies and fellowships must apply for AOA recognition of their training in order to become osteopathically board certified. If you trained allopathically, please follow the steps below to receive this recognition.
To receive this recognition, please ask your residency to submit an official verification letter. The letter must:
- Come directly from your program via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 312-202-8375.
- Be written on institutional letterhead and include the date and training program’s 10-digit ACGME accreditation number.
- List your specialty, along with the exact start and end dates of your residency training.
- Include the title and signature of the program director.
Right to Appeal
If a candidate feels that the actions of the AOBOG with regard to any part of the examination constitute unequal application of the regulations and requirements or standards, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to this Board.
Appeals must be made on an appeal request form and submitted to a member of the executive committee or staff within two hours of the exam administration. Appeal request forms will be provided to all candidates prior to the start of the exam. All appeals submitted after the two-hour deadline will be denied.
A majority vote of the AOBOG Appeal Committee will determine whether the AOBOG accepts or denies the appeal. An in-person meeting between the candidate and the Appeal Committee may be necessary in order to make a decision.
Candidates will be advised of the Board’s decision by certified mail. If the Appeal Committee accepts an appeal, then the candidate’s examination will not be scored or recorded, and the candidate has the right to take a new exam at the next scheduled exam date with no additional fee. If applicable, the candidate’s original case log will be utilized and the next oral exam will be not be conducted by the original examiners.
If an appeal is denied by the AOBOG, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) and AOA Board of Trustees.
The AOBOG will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers given to examination questions, scoring of the examination, scoring of answers to individual questions, and/or the determination of the minimum passing score.
AOA Code of Conduct: Irregular and Improper Behavior
Board examination results and questions of improper conduct are reviewed by Board members. Improper behavior, including but not limited to, giving, receiving or otherwise obtaining unauthorized information or assistance, looking at or utilizing the test material of others, taking notes, failing to comply with computer site staff instructions, talking with other candidates or other disruptive behavior will be considered cause for review of conduct and a possible violation of the certification process. Candidates must not discuss the examination while the session is in progress. Candidates must not disclose the contents of the examination to others or reproduce the examination or any portion of the examination in any manner, including without limitation reconstruction through memorization, electronic means, or dictation. All examinations of this Board are copyrighted and protected by Federal law. The above policies apply to all examinations given by the Board.
It is a criminal offense to copy or reproduce any portion of the certifying examinations. The Board will monitor examinations for irregular or improper behavior by direct observation, statistical analysis, and by other means. Irregular or improper behavior will constitute grounds for invalidation of the candidate’s examination and the Board reserves the right to invoke other sanctions, such as exclusion from future examinations, revocation of board certification, and reporting misconduct to licensing bodies or law enforcement agencies.
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOBOG complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBOG 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 AOBOG 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 AOBOG certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.