The American Osteopathic Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has outlined the following criteria as minimum requirements for certification:
Certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- The applicant must be a graduate of an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine, holding the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy.
- The applicant must maintain an unrestricted license to practice in the state or territory where his/her practice is conducted.
- The applicant must be able to show evidence of conformity to the standards set forth in the Code of Ethics of the American Osteopathic Association.
- The applicant must have be a current member in good standing of the American Osteopathic Association or the Canadian Osteopathic Association.
- The applicant must have satisfactorily completed an internship of at least one (1) year in a hospital approved for intern training by the American Osteopathic Association, or by acceptable alternative pathways prescribed by the AOA.
- A period of not less than three (3) years of specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation approved by the AOA shall be required, after one (1) year of AOA approved internship. This training shall include but is not limited to specific requirements of training outlined in the Basic Standards of Residency Training in Physiatry as supplied by the Practice Affiliate with AOA approval. Alternately, the applicant may be an ABMS-Certified DO seeking AOA certification under the appropriate alternative pathway who has received approval from the AOA.
- The applicant must practice as an Osteopathic Physiatrist for a period of at least one (1) full time year subsequent to the minimum three (3) years of residency training, or must have completed as acceptable one (1) year of full time fellowship training, or an acceptable combination of these, subsequent to the minimum three (3) years of residency training.
Subspecialty Certifying Examinations
Hospice and Palliative Medicine
The board offers examination for certification of added qualifications to diplomates with additional training in hospice and palliative medicine. To be eligible to be examined in this subspecialty field, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- The applicant must be a Diplomate of the Board in PMR or a subspecialty; and
- Must have satisfactorily completed 12 months of an AOA-approved training program in hospice and palliative medicine.
- For further information, please click here.
The board offers examination for the certification of added qualifications to diplomates with additional training in sports medicine. To be eligible to be examined in this subspecialty field, an applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:
- The applicant must be a diplomate of the Board; and
- Must have satisfactorily completed an osteopathic fellowship or an ACGME approved fellowship in sports medicine.
- For further information, please click here.
- Additional information can be found on the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine website.
Part I (written examination)
Part I (written examination) consists of 100 multiple choice questions. Each candidate will have four hours to complete the examination.
Part II (oral examination)
Part II (oral examination) consists of 3 separate one-on-one examinations, each 45 minutes in length.
The certification Part I examination in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation will be offered in conjunction with the AOCPMR mid-year conference. Both certification Part I and II will be offered in conjunction with the OMED convention.
The Osteopathic Continuous Certification examination in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation will be offered in conjunction with the OMED convention.
Nonrefundable examination fee of $1000 for certification and $400 for retakes must accompany the application by the published postmark deadline date. The registration period ends at least ninety days prior to the examination date. There is a nonrefundable penalty fee of $100 for withdrawal later than at least 14 days prior to the examination date before being allowed to reschedule the examination. There is a $100 rescheduling fee after examination cancellation.
Candidates will be informed of the results of the examination within 90 days following the examination date. Successful candidates will receive a certificate for in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation notating an expiration date of ten years thereafter. The certificate will be awarded after the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists gives final approval of the exam process for each candidate. This approval process may take about six months following the notification of successful completion of the examination. Upon written request and payment of a fee of $50, candidates may obtain rescoring of the examination within a year of receiving the results. The answer sheets of candidates will be destroyed three years after administration.
Understanding the Certification Process
An osteopathic physician has the option of entering an AOA- or ACGME-accredited Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program. Regardless of their residency program, the AOBPMR encourages all DOs interested in osteopathic Board certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to apply.
During Your Osteopathic Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency
DOs enrolled in an AOA-approved osteopathic residency program who are interested in pursuing osteopathic Board certification must work with the American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to document residency training through the generation of yearly progress reports.
When the resident completes his/her residency, the AOCPMR will make a recommendation to the AOA to designate the osteopathic physician as "training complete," which means that the entirety of his/her Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency has been approved by the College. The osteopathic physician may now apply for Board Eligible status from the AOBPMR for Board certification.
Board Eligible status is not granted automatically. A candidate has six (6) years following the completion of residency training or completion of the practice requirement to apply for Board Eligible status by the AOBPMR.
During Your Allopathic Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency
DOs enrolled in an ACGME-approved allopathic residency program who are also interested in pursuing osteopathic Board certification must work with the American Osteopathic Association for approval of the residency.
The osteopathic physician must apply to receive AOA approval of his/her internship (PGY1) and residency (PGY 2+). The form for approval of the internship and residency can be found here.
To gain approval of your PGY-2 years and beyond please follow the process below:
1. Download the application and return it to the AOA.
2. Send required documentation to the AOA to complete the application.
- Program letter stating the following: ACGME-accredited program, successful completion of the training program
Once the AOA has received a completed application and supporting documentation, the information will be reviewed by AOA staff.
The AOA will only approve DOs who have successfully completed an ACGME training program. Documentation submitted to the AOA will serve as verification that the applicant has successfully completed the ACGME program.
After receiving AOA approval of their residency, the osteopathic physician may then apply for Board Eligible status from the AOBPMR for Board certification. Board Eligible status is not granted automatically. A candidate has six (6) years following the completion of residency training or completion of the practice requirement to apply for Board Eligible status by the AOBPMR.
For ABPMR-Certified Physicians Seeking AOBPMR Certification
If you obtained Board Certification by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and are interested in pursuing Board Certification by the AOBPMR, you may be able to obtain eligibility for the AOBPMR examinations through AOA's Resolution 56, which grants eligibility to ABMS-certified osteopathic physicians. Click here for the application.
After Obtaining Board Eligibility Status from the AOBPMR
The AOBPMR General Certification examination is offered annually, in conjunction with the fall AOA Annual Meeting.
If you successfully pass the examination, your information will be reported to the AOA's Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists for their review and approval. If approved, you will be assigned a certificate.