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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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