Internal Medicine Board Certification Eligibility Requirements

Internal Medicine RequirementsThe eligibility requirements vary for physicians to become qualified to seek board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), but there are several base-line requirements that all of the ABPS Member Boards share. These include owning an unrestricted medical license for every state in which the physician is licensed, annual attestation to the currency of those unrestricted medical licenses, adherence to the ABPS Code of Ethics, and a certain amount of experience within the physician’s chosen field.

In addition, eligibility requirements for those who wish to earn physician certification through the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM) include (but are not limited to):

  • Submitting a current curriculum vitae which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned in chronological order
  • Being a graduate of a medical school accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, Liaison Committee for Medical Education, or the Committee for the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools
  • Completing an ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency in Internal Medicine. The ABPS also accepts all residencies recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • Submitting  two letters of recommendation from Diplomates of the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine

In addition, all candidates must agree to a comprehensive background check by the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc., and pay the appropriate fees.

A Reliable, Fair & Accurate Certification Exam

At the ABPS, we believe that board certification should be reserved for physicians who can demonstrate an exceptional level of expertise in their specialty. That’s why we maintain stringent eligibility requirements and have developed rigorous but fair exams that single out the most competent, highly trained, and knowledgeable physicians in their specialty area. To earn BCIM certification, candidates must pass a computer-based written exam that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions administered over a four-hour session.

You can find information about dates and fees for the application and the written exam here.

Once granted, all ABPS certificates are good for a period of eight years, expiring on December 31st of the eighth year.

Recertification in internal medicine requires documentation of the required number of Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours, completion of the recertification application, and successful completion of the written recertification examination.

Benefits of BCIM Certification

As one of the medical industry’s most coveted honors, board certification is understandably a rigorous process, but once certified, it yields several benefits. When physicians achieve certification with an ABPS Member Board such as the BCIM, they become part of a respected organization dedicated to patient care above all else. ABPS Diplomates:

  • Instill patients with confidence that they will receive the best medical care available
  • Exchange information about clinical experiences in order to advance their specialties and patient care as a whole
  • Enjoy more career opportunities, which can lead to higher earnings
  • Have a voice as a valued member of the healthcare community
  • Receive ongoing education to stay updated on advancements in their specialty

To learn more about the eligibility requirements for becoming a candidate for board certification through the BCIM, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc. ABPS was included in the recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final regulations on a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) regarding the primary care incentive. The incentive program was designed to increase Medicaid compensation for physicians performing primary care and pediatric subspecialist services.


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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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine