When and How Specialty Examinations are Offered by the ABPS

When Specialty Exams OfferedWritten medical specialty examinations are offered by the American Board of Physician Specialties (APBS) in November and May of each year in a computer-based, multiple choice format at test centers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Oral examinations and simulations are offered in March, April, or October, depending on the specialty, and take place in Tampa, Florida.

The window for written specialty examinations is typically four weeks long. The examinee is allowed to schedule the exam for any day and time that the nearest test center is open. Registration for specific test dates is opened 1 month before the start of the testing window.  All registered and paid candidates are sent a password and link to register online for their specific date and time.

Please keep in mind that there is typically a five-month lead time between the application deadline and the date of testing. For example, to sit for an examination in November, the completed application must be received by the ABPS by May of that year. And to sit for a test in May, the application must be received by December of the previous year.

Oral specialty examinations do not require a separate application, but all examinees must pass the written examination before sitting for the oral exam.  The fee must also be paid at the time of registration. Oral examinations are administered on a Saturday, with Sunday being available for those needing religious accommodations or with emergency scheduling issues that prevent them from testing on Saturday.

These medical specialties require written and oral examinations:

  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Disaster Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics
  • Anesthesiology
  • Family Medicine Obstetrics
  • Psychiatry

These medical specialties require only written specialty examinations:

  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Urgent Care
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Family Practice
  • Internal Medicine

For more information about the timing, eligibility requirements, and methodology of the specialty examinations offered by the ABPS, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

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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