Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Dates and Fees

Palliative care physicians focus on improving a patient’s quality of life by managing pain and other distressing symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care is often provided along with other medical treatments. Hospice is palliative care for patients in their last year of life.

ABEM- and American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM)-certified physicians attain subspecialty certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by meeting the eligibility criteria, fulfilling specific credential requirements, and passing the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Certification Examination.

ABEM, along with nine other American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Boards, offer subspecialty certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) administers the subspecialty certification examination, and each Member Board is responsible for credentialing its respective candidates and notifying them of their examination results.


Emergency physicians seeking Hospice and Palliative Medicine certification must:

  1. Be certified ABEM or the AOBEM.
  2. Successfully complete an ACGME-accredited Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship of at least one year as specified in the eligibility criteria.
  3. Actively participating in ABEM's continuing certification process or the AOBEM Osteopathic Continuing Certification (OCC) Program.
  4. Complete and submit an application to ABEM.
  5. Fulfill the ABEM Policy on Medical Licensure.
  6. Comply with the ABEM Policy on Board Eligibility for Subspecialty Certification.

Exam Process

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Certification Examination is offered every other year, in even-numbered years.


To apply, ABEM- and AOBEM-certified physicians complete and submit the current year’s application, which is available from the ABEM office. Complete application submissions include:

  • Completed, signed, and notarized current-year certification application form
  • Application fee in U.S. funds

The application fee covers the cost of processing the application only and cannot be refunded.

A final review of an application will be completed when all information is received. Applications that are incomplete will be closed February 1 of the following year. Physicians with closed applications must submit new applications if they wish to apply. They must meet all requirements in place at the time the new application is submitted.

ABEM mails notification regarding whether the physician's application has been approved.


Physicians with approved applications receive instructions on how to register for the exam and schedule a seat at a Pearson VUE test center.

Exam Content specifications

An exam tutorial is available on the ABIM website.The blueprint and an exam-day schedule for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Certification Examination is available on the ABIM website.


ABEM sends candidates the results of their examination in writing. Results are also posted on candidates ABEM Personal Page.