Board Eligibility

Board eligibility is valid for a period of six years from the date of completion of either an AOA- or an ACGME-approved residency training program in family medicine. The examination must be successfully completed, the residency training approved by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) and/or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and certification awarded by the AOA within that six year period.

The period of board eligibility for non-residency trained physicians expired December 31, 2001 with the termination of the clinical practice pathway to eligibility. Those physicians unsuccessful in the completion of the examination (receiving a failing score) within that six-year period were able to apply for an extension of board eligibility only thru December 31, 2003.

Board eligibility may only be confirmed for those family physicians who have submitted the appropriate application materials to this office for review and approval. Candidates fulfilling the eligibility requirements are sent a letter confirming scheduling which would also verify eligibility.

Requests for verification should be submitted in writing to this office and must include an original release statement signed by the physician. Verbal confirmations will not be provided.

Termination of Board Eligible Status for Residency Trained Physicians

If a candidate does not initiate examination within the period of board eligibility, then board eligibility status will be automatically lost and so recorded by the AOA and this Board. In such cases, candidates cannot re-register for board eligibility status, but may be eligible to petition the Board for reentry into the certification process.

Mechanism For Reentry Into The Certification Process (Candidates whose Board Eligibility Expired on or Before December 31, 2010)

  • A. Reentry into the certification process allows a candidate who has successfully completed a one-year AOA-approved internship and a two-year AOA-approved residency, and has verification of residency ‘complete and approved’ status by the AOA, to pursue certification in family practice. The candidate may petition up to two times to reenter the certification process. Each petition can be for up to one year, with two examination attempts. The candidate is not considered board eligible during this time and verification of such status will not be provided to the candidate. After exhausting the above process, the candidate is not eligible to continue the certification process.
  • B. The applicant’s petition must contain evidence of meeting the following requirements in addition to the required application and supporting documents for certification..
    • 1) Valid and unrestricted licensure to practice medicine in a state or territory of the United States;
    • 2) Continuous membership in good standing in the AOA or Canadian Osteopathic Association during the immediate preceding two years prior to petition and maintenance of AOA membership in good standing for the one year period of extension;
    • 3) Documentation per AOA Activity Reports of 150 applicable CME hours for the previous three years;
    • 4) The required petition application fee.

Mechanism For Reentry Into The Certification Process (Candidates Entering The Certification Process on or After July 1, 2009)

  • A. Effective July 1, 2009, any candidate entering the certification process (meeting the eligibility requirements and filing an application) may petition the board at the end of their six years of board eligibility up to two times to reenter the certification process. Each petition can be for up to one year. The candidate’s residency training must have AOA ‘complete and approved’ status. If the candidate fails to pass the examination after two petitions, there will be no further opportunity to become certified.
  • B. Each petition for reentry into the certification process must be submitted within six months prior to expiration of the initial six-year period of board eligibility or upon expiration of the first reentry petition. A petition allows a candidate with approved residency training to pursue certification in family practice for an extended period of up to one year from the date of acceptance of the candidate’s petition. The candidate is not considered board eligible during this time and verification of such status will not be provided to the candidate.
  • C. The applicant’s petition must contain evidence of meeting the following requirements in addition to the required application and supporting documents for certification.
    • 1) Valid and unrestricted licensure to practice medicine in a state or territory of the United States;
    • 2) Membership in good standing in the AOA or Canadian Osteopathic Association at time of application;
    • 3) Documentation per AOA Activity Reports of 150 applicable CME hours for the previous three years;
    • 4) The required examination fee.

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