Board Eligibility

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.

To be eligible for certification from the AOBPMR, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine or an ACGME-accredited program.
  • Satisfactorily complete a one-year internship in an AOA-approved training program.
  • Specific training and other requirements for the desired specialty or subspecialty.
  • Hold a valid, active license to practice medicine in a U.S. state, commonwealth, District of Columbia, or U.S. territory.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.

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

  • After completion of the six-year board eligibility timeframe.
  • Upon denial of an appeal to extend the board eligibility timeframe for an individual.
  • Upon award of a certification.

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.

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.

Resolution 56: Eligibility for ABMS-Certified DOs

Resolution 56 defines the certification eligibility for ABMS-certified physicians seeking primary certification from the AOBPMR. 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.
  • Approved Resolution 56 candidates must pass only the written exam in order to become certified by AOBPMR.

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.