Board Eligibility

BOARD ELIGIBILITY

Definition: The time frame when upon completion of an AOA-approved training program, osteopathic surgeons are eligible to begin the certification process and to declare their status as board eligible in their specialty.

Notification: All residents and fellows in AOA-approved programs shall be notified by the Board of the definition and deadline of board eligibility.

Time Frame: Board eligibility commences upon completion of the specialty training program and terminates on December 31 of the following sixth year.

1. Board eligibility status will automatically be terminated and so recorded by the AOA and the Board:

a. At the end of the board eligibility time frame, or

b. Following resolution of an appeal, or

c. Upon award of certification.

2. In view of a candidate’s right to appeal the results of a failed examination, if board eligibility would have terminated as a result of lapse of the six (6) year time frame, the designation of board eligible shall not terminate until the appeal has been resolved.

3. Candidates may not use the designation of board eligible at any time after the termination of board eligibility.

Certification Eligibility

Candidates are eligible to become certified at any time within the board eligibility time frame.

1. Candidates who have initiated the certification process in their specialty by sitting for an examination prior to July 1, 2009 may continue to pursue certification at any time (after the board eligibility time frame) based upon the Board’s requirements prior to July 1, 2009.

2. Candidates who have not initiated the certification process by sitting for an examination in their specialty prior to July 1, 2009 may become certified only by successfully completing the certification examination pathway process.

3. Candidates who are not successful in becoming certified at the conclusion of the final pathway process are no longer eligible to become certified in their specialty.

Certification Examination Pathway Process

1. Initial Pathway

a. Candidates must petition the Board for entry into the initial pathway process. Candidates will be automatically registered for the initial pathway upon completion of the Board’s application process.

b. The Board will accept all applicants who have met the entry requirements into the process.

c. Upon acceptance into the process, the candidate must follow the pathway outlined below. Prior activity toward certification will not be recognized in the initial pathway process if applicable.

i. Candidates must enter at the beginning of the Board’s certification process.

ii. Candidates must follow the process as outlined by the Board’s requirements during the six (6) years of board eligibility.

iii. Candidates must complete certification during the six (6) year period of board eligibility.

iv. Candidates who have not completed certification during the six (6) year period of board eligibility, their ability to complete certification shall terminate and they then may reenter the certification process via the first reentry process.

2. First Re-Entry Process

a. Candidates must petition the Board for entry into the certification process.

b. Upon acceptance by the Board, the candidate must follow the following process:

i. The candidate must start at the beginning of the certification process. Prior activity toward certification will not be recognized in the first re-entry process.

ii. Candidates must participate in the first available administration of the qualifying examination.

iii. The candidate will have two (2) attempts to pass each step of the examination process.

iv. If unsuccessful on a given administration, the candidate must participate in the next available examination administration.

v. Candidates who were not successful in becoming certified at the end of the first re-entry pathway process may pursue certification only by petitioning the certifying board for entry into the final pathway process.

3. Final Pathway

a. Candidates must petition the Board for entry into the final pathway process.

b. The Board is required to establish criteria that must be met prior to granting entry into the final pathway process.

i. These criteria must be approved by the Standards Review Committee of the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS).

ii. Upon notification of the criteria, the candidate must display efforts to conform and satisfy the requirements without delay.

c. Upon completion of the requirements, the candidate must follow the pathway outlined below. Prior activity toward certification will not be recognized in the final pathway process.

i. Candidates must enter at the beginning of the Board’s certification process.

ii. Candidates must participate in the first available administration of the qualifying examination.

iii. The candidate will have two (2) attempts to pass each step of the examination process.

iv. If unsuccessful on a given administration, the candidate must participate in the next available examination administration.

d. Candidates who were not successful in becoming certified at the end of the final pathway have no further opportunity to become certified in their specialty.

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