Current Issues

AOA Approves Creation of Two Pathways for AOA BOARD CERTIFICATION

Dear Colleague:

The AOA Board of Trustees today announced it has approved the creation of two pathways for AOA  board certification. Candidate diplomates will be given the choice of two initialcertification pathways: To become board certified in the osteopathic practice of their specialty; or to become  board certified in their specialty only, taking an exam without formal osteopathic content.

The existing osteopathic specialty board certification exams will continue to serve DOs who wish to validate their expertise of osteopathic principles and practice. The AOA also will develop an examination pathway that embraces osteopathic medicine’s unique holistic thinking, but does not evaluate candidates’ skills in the principles and practice of osteopathic medicine. Exams for both pathways will be developed by practicing osteopathic physicians, and distinctive certificates will be awarded for each.

The decision at the AOA’s Midyear Meeting followed thoughtful consideration of perspectives from physician leaders across the profession and specialties. 

The Board’s commitment to realign and enhance board certification is in response to changing demographics and the evolving needs and expectations of a new generation of DOs.

Demand for certification options has grown, and the potential diplomate pool for initial and ongoing continuous certification is larger due to the Single Accreditation System. This is an opportunity to reach a broader market of DOs and to provide a certification pathway for MDs as well, especially those trained in osteopathically-recognized programs.


William S. Mayo, DO
President, AOA