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
A physician who has not obtained final certification at the end of six years of board eligibility may petition the American Osteopathic Conjoint Pain Medicine Examination Committee (AOCPMEC) for re-entry into the certification process.
Right to Appeal
If a candidate feels that the actions of the AOCPMEC 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 the Committee.
The appeal must be on an Appeal Request Form and submitted to the examination proctor within two hours of the exam’s conclusion. Appeal Request Forms will be provided to all certification and OCC candidates prior to the commencement of the examination. Appeals submitted after the two-hour deadline will be denied.
Each appeal submitted on an Appeal Request Form within two hours of completion of the examination will be considered by the AOCPMEC. A majority vote of the Committee will determine whether the AOCPMEC accepts or denies the appeal.
If an appeal is denied by the AOCPMEC, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) and AOA Board of Trustees.
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOCPMEC complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOCPMEC 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 AOCPMEC 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 AOCPMEC certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.