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:
- 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 satisfactorily complete three years of an AOA-approved or ACGME-accredited residency program.
- You must satisfactorily complete an AOA-approved or ACGME-accredited fellowship program (if pursuing subspecialty certification).
- 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
A physician who has not obtained final certification at the end of six years of board eligibility may petition the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics to re-enter the certification process. Candidates may petition the board to extend eligibility two additional years once the six-year limit has expired.
To re-establish board eligibility, candidates must:
- Hold active licensure in all states where they hold a medical license
- Conform to the AOA Code of Ethics
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.
Subspecialty Certification Eligibility
To be eligible for AOBP subspecialty certification, a candidate must:
- Earn primary certification through the AOBP.
- Successfully complete required training in the subspecialty area.
Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs
Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified pediatricians seeking primary certification from the AOBP. 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 AOBP 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 document for proper review of the case. The appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days of receiving exam results.
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 AOBP, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS).
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOBP complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBP 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 AOBP ensures that individuals’ health information is properly protected, while allowing the flow of health information to provide and promote high quality health care. Patient confidentiality as defined by HIPAA will be maintained at all times in every exam administered by the AOBP.