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

Candidates who are more than six years past completion of their residency may submit a written request to the AOBPMR to sit for the certification exam. The AOBPMR will adhere to the guidelines in the BOS handbook for the first reentry and final pathway process.

Revocation of a Certificate

The AOBPMR will recommend revocation if a certificate was obtained fraudulently or though misrepresentation or if a diplomate exploits the certificate, violates the AOA Code of Ethics, or is otherwise disqualified.

Reinstatement of a revoked certificate requires compliance with the requirements of the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) and approval of AOBPMR and BOS.

Right to Appeal

If a candidate feels that the actions of the AOBPMR with regard to any part of the exam 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 to the written certifying exam must be made in writing stating the reasons for requesting an appeal and must be received within 30 days of the exam date. For oral exams, appeal must be made within two hours after completion of the oral exam. If these deadlines are not met, no further appeal is permitted.

If the candidate is not satisfied with the results of an appeal before this Board, the applicant has the right to further appeal to the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists and the AOA Board of Trustees.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

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

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBPMR 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 AOBPMR 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 AOBPMR.