Board Eligibility for Subspecialties

Physicians must be designated as ABEM board eligible to seek subspecialty certification through ABEM. To be ABEM board eligible, a physician must:

  1. Be certified by an ABMS Member Board
  2. Designated as participating in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program of their primary certification
  3. Completed the training or practice as designated in the ABEM eligibility criteria for the subspecialty
  4. Fulfill the ABEM Policy on Medical Licensure

The Policy on Board Eligibility for Subspecialties took effect January 1, 2018.

Board Eligibility Schedule

Board eligibility is time-limited. Physicians who successfully complete additional required training will again become board eligible.

Group

Eligibility Begins

Eligibility Ends

Graduates from training/completes practice 2018 to present

On the physician’s graduation date

December 31, 7 years after the graduation date*

Those who had open certification applications on January 1, 2018

January 1, 2018

December 31, 2025*

Graduates from fellowship training prior to 2018 who did not apply for certification, or had an application that was closed as of January 1, 2018

January 1, 2018

December 31, 2025*

* Or through four administrations of the subspecialty initial certification examination, whichever is longer.

Expiration of Board Eligibility

Board eligible status ends when a physician does not meet the requirements to be granted a second period of board eligibility

Physicians who become certified before their period of board eligibility expires become ABEM-certified.

When board eligible designation expires, ABEM will close the physician’s certification application if an open application was on file.

Physicians who are no longer board eligible cannot claim to be board eligible and cannot take ABEM subspecialty certification examinations.

Regaining Board Eligibility Status

A physician may become ABEM subspecialty board eligible again by successfully completing additional Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)–accredited fellowship training.

The additional training must consist of at least half of the time of the subspecialty fellowship training as outlined in the ABEM eligibility criteria for the subspecialty at the time the physician loses their subspecialty board eligible status.

Physicians who are no longer board eligible cannot claim to be board eligible. Any violation of this rule is considered a breach of ethical standards of medical practice.