Hospital Medicine Eligibility

Revised September 2008

To be eligible for certification in Hospital Medicine through the American Board of Hospital Medicine, the applicant must:

ABPS General Requirements

  1. Be in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the American Board of Physician Specialties, be known in his/her community as an ethical member of the profession, and be an active specialist in Hospital Medicine.
  2. Be a graduate of a recognized college of medicine confirmed by a copy of an allopathic/osteopathic degree or a letter of verification from the institution where the degree was earned. In the case of foreign medical schools, an English translation of the document is also required. Graduates of foreign medical schools must also include a copy of their Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate. Canadian medical schools and medical training programs are considered equivalent to U.S. medical schools and medical training programs.
  3. Hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, its territories or Canada.
  4. Submit a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned, in chronological order.

ABHM Specific Requirements

  1. Residency – All applicants must have completed residency training in a program approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).  Such training must include substantial and identifiable training in Hospital Medicine as determined by the American Board of Hospital Medicine (ABHM) and approved by the ABPS. The ABPS accepts medical residencies approved by the RCPSC and CFPC, including approved residencies outside Canada. Applicants without a completed residency may also be eligible if they hold current Board Certification granted by an ABMS, AOA, or ABPS board that was granted on or before December 31, 2001.
  2. Board Certification/FellowshipAll applicants must be qualified under one of the following:
    1. Hold current Board Certification in Family Practice, Internal Medicine or Emergency Medicine granted by an ABMS, AOA, ABPS, RCPSC, or CFPC board. Applicants with current board certification in other specialties will be considered on an individual basis.
    2. For Canadian physicians who have not completed residency, you must be board eligible for certification by meeting the practicing physicians eligibility which includes completion of 12 months of postgraduate medical training, full time practice for a minimum number of years, and successful completion of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1 (MCCQEI).  Applicants must provide both the practicing physician eligibility requirements for their specialty and documentation that they have met all the requirements.  These applicants will be considered on an individual basis.
    3. Have completed an ABHM-approved fellowship program.  The following fellowship programs have received ABHM approval:
      1. NMMC Hospital Medicine Fellowship, North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, MS – Rajender K. Agarwal, MD, Director –
      2. University Hospitalists Fellowship, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa, AL – A. Robert Sheppard, M.D., Director – (This program closed in February 2015, but graduates of this program remain eligible under the Graduate Training Program option)
    4. All other applicants under this option will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Staff Privileges – Verify active staff privileges by means a letter detailing active privileges and the period of service signed by of the Chief of Department, Chief of Staff, or Chair of Credentialing Committee.  This letter must be an original and should be on hospital letterhead.
  • Patient Management – Applicants must provide verification of having admitted and managed a minimum of 50 patients in the last twelve (12) consecutive months and verification that 50% of practice is comprised of hospital medicine patient care.
  • Case Reports –Submit a documented report of a minimum of six (6) hospital medicine cases for which the physician had the lead management role. The case reports must be no older than twelve (12) months from the date the candidate’s application for certification is received by ABPS.   See the “Case Report Requirements” section here for more details.
  • ACLS Certification –All applicants must be ACLS Certified at the time of application and submit copy of current, unexpired card.

Additional Application Requirements:

  1. Submit a Hospital Medicine application form complete with the required application processing fee, two (2) passport-size photographs taken within the last 90 days, and notarized signature.
  2. Sign and submit the ABPS Disclosure and Authorization to obtain Criminal Background Reports form.
  3. Sign and submit the ABPS Examinations Complaints and Appeals Process form.
  4. U.S. physicians must do a self-Query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submit a sealed (unopened envelope) copy of the report as part of the application process. For information on performing a self-query of the Bank, go to the website All Canadian physicians must request and submit a testament statement from each province in which a license is held, verifying that there have been no disciplinary actions against the applicant.
  5. Provide three (3) Letters of Recommendation from Diplomates of any ABPS, ABMS, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC Board of Certification. All letters of recommendation must be printed on letterhead, must be dated within the twelve months prior to the submission of the application, and must include an original signature, author contact information for the author, and should indicate the board certification(s) held by the author. Copies are not acceptable. These letters do not need to be mailed directly to ABPS, but can be included with the applicant’s materials and certification application.
  6. Payment of appropriate fees. To view fee schedule, click here.

The ABHM recommends that the applicant keep a copy of all application documents submitted to the ABPS.

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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.

BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine