Information About the ABAM Examination for Board Certification in Administrative Medicine

ABAM Information

To become board certified in administrative medicine by the American Board of Administrative Medicine℠ (ABAM), candidates must successfully complete a computer-based written examination. This exam, which consists of 150 multiple-choice items and is administered over a three-hour session, is intended to thoroughly test each candidate’s understanding and knowledge of the core concepts of the specialty, as defined by practitioners, instructors, and administrative medicine leaders. ABAM exams are offered at a network of testing centers throughout the U.S. and Canada during a three-week-long testing window each year in October. As the exam is rigorous, candidates should review study materials prior to the date of the test to ensure they are sufficiently prepared.

Subjects That the ABAM Certification Exam Covers

Here is a list of the subjects that candidates can expect to see on the ABAM examination, as well as an approximate percentage of how many of the exam’s questions will be dedicated to the corresponding subject:

  • Finance – 15%
  • Quality and Safety – 15%
  • Health Law/Corporate Compliance – 10%
  • Data Analytics and Information Integration – 10%
  • Health Policy – 10%
  • Governance – 10%
  • Professionalism/Leadership – 10%
  • Marketing, Strategy, and Business Development – 10%
  • Human Potential – 10%

While this list is not meant to be an exhaustive overview of the materials covered by the ABAM exam, it is intended to provide a general overview of the types of materials that will be covered in the test. The aim is to help candidates who may wish to prepare more in a specific area of the exam that they may not be as familiar with. Candidates can find a list of study references by clicking here. All items that appear on ABAM exams have been written based on the material presented in these study references.

How the ABAM Exam Is Scored

Each ABAM exam question has four potential responses but only one correct answer, and each exam is scored against predetermined standards of acceptable performance utilizing modified Angoff procedures to establish the minimum passing score. Candidates will receive score reports indicating their pass/fail status on the written exam. Candidates who fail are provided a breakdown of their performance by subject content domains. A candidate who is successful in passing the exam earns board certification through the ABAM and Diplomate status with the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS.

Retaking the ABAM Certification Exams

A candidate may take the written ABAM exam as many as three times to attain a passing score. Candidates who are not successful in passing the exam within the number of allowable attempts may reapply for certification by completing a new application and meeting all the requirements in effect at the time the new application is submitted.

To learn more about the written examination for board certification offered by the ABAM, contact the ABPS today.


Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine