ABPM recognizes that Candidates and Diplomates who are eligible to take the initial Certification examination or LAP may need reasonable accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Board supports the intent of the ADA and will attempt to make reasonable accommodations for Candidates/Diplomates with verified physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. Candidates/Diplomates will be reminded by the Board, however, that, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the ADA, “auxiliary aids (and services) can only be offered if they do not fundamentally alter the measurement of skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test.” (Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336 §309 [b]). To this extent, the Board will provide reasonable accommodations during testing to provide equal opportunity for Candidates/Diplomates with such verified impairments.
Applicants/Candidates who request accommodations because of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities must advise the Board in writing no later than ten (10) days after the deadline for submitting applications for the initial Certification examination which the Applicant/Candidate wishes to take. All documentation and other evidence substantiating the impairment must be submitted by the Applicant/Candidate to the Board no later than ten (10) days after the deadline for filing an application for the initial Certification examination which the Applicant/Candidate wishes to take.
Please contact ABPM@theabpm.org for additional information.
A Candidate who receives a failing grade on an Initial Certification examination has the right to request to have their initial Certification examination responses rechecked. A score recheck is limited to verifying that responses were correctly recorded and that the scoring process accurately transformed the Candidate’s responses into a score. A review is not an evaluation of the content of the initial Certification examination items or the corresponding answers. A review does not involve a re-evaluation of the passing standard of the initial Certification examination. The request for a rescore must be made by the Candidate within ten (10) days of receipt of notification of a failing score and accompanied by a nonrefundable rescore fee in an amount as determined from time to time by the Board. In order to initiate the rescore, the Candidate must contact the Board and use a unique link provided by the Board to pay the required fee and initiate the rescore. Rescore results will be released to the Candidate via the ABPM’s physician portal or such other methodology as may be determined by the Board from time to time.
The Board will exercise reasonable efforts in recovering a Candidate’s lost examination data, including but not limited to examination score, for any examination that a Candidate has completed and for which the Candidate has provided answers. In the event that after exercise of those efforts, a portion of the examination data is deemed by the Board to be irretrievably lost, the Candidate will be given the option of retaking the examination or having the examination scored. The Candidate shall have thirty (30) days after being notified by the Board of the lost examination data to notify the Chief Executive Officer in writing that the Candidate has chosen to have the examination scored. In the event the Candidate timely notifies the Chief Executive Officer of the Candidate’s choice to have the examination scored, the minimum passing score for the affected Candidate will be the same as is used for Candidates taking and completing the same examination without incident.
If the Candidate does not timely notify the Chief Executive Officer of the Candidate’s choice to have the examination scored or, if due to the loss of examination data, the Candidate chooses to reschedule the examination, the Candidate will be allowed to reschedule during the same Examination Cycle, if time and space permits. Otherwise, an examination will be rescheduled for the Candidate during the Examination Cycle immediately following the examination that resulted in the lost examination data.
Candidates rescheduling an examination due to lost examination data will not be compensated for travel costs to/from the examination locations, loss of time, loss of Certification benefits, or any other direct or indirect costs or expenses resulting from the loss of the examination data. The Candidate’s examination fee for the rescheduled examination may, however, be waived at the sole and absolute discretion of the Board.
A Candidate who voluntarily terminates an examination due to illness must be excused by the designated proctor before leaving the examination. The proctor shall also have the right to remove a Candidate from an examination because of illness that renders the Candidate physically incapable of completing the examination or such illness is, in the opinion of the proctor, is dangerous to others taking the examination or otherwise impairs the ability of the ABPM to administer a full and fair examination.
A Candidate who is excused or removed by the designated proctor because of illness will be given the option of retaking the examination or having the examination scored. The Candidate shall have thirty (30) days after the date of the examination to notify the Chief Executive Officer in writing that the Candidate has chosen to have the examination scored. In the event the Candidate timely notifies the Chief Executive Officer of the Candidate’s choice to have the examination scored, the minimum passing score for the affected Candidate will be the same as is used for Candidates taking and completing the same examination without incident.
If the Candidate does not timely notify the Chief Executive Officer of the Candidate’s choice to have the examination scored or, due to excused illness, the Candidate chooses to reschedule the examination, the Candidate will be allowed to reschedule during the same Examination Cycle, if time and space permits. Otherwise, an examination will be rescheduled for the Candidate during the Examination Cycle immediately following the examination wherein the Candidate was excused or removed by the designated proctor due to illness.
Candidates rescheduling an examination due to illness will not be compensated for travel costs to/from the examination locations, loss of time, loss of Certification benefits, or any other direct or indirect costs or expenses resulting from the excused illness. In the event the Candidate was excused from the examination by the designated proctor, the Candidate’s examination fee for the rescheduled examination may be waived at the sole and absolute discretion of the Board.
The following describes ABPM policies and procedures related to cheating in computer-based and non-computer-based examination settings. As part of the application process, Applicants or, in the case of MOC examinations, Diplomates, shall attest that they have reviewed and will comply with these policies and procedures.
The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) expects that all candidates will refrain from cheating, the appearance of cheating, or enabling another candidate to cheat. All Examinations will be openly and visibly proctored. The testing center facilities will be arranged in a manner that minimizes the opportunity to cheat.
Any Candidate/Diplomate observing cheating behavior must report such misconduct to the attention of the testing center proctor. Failure to comply with this subsection 3.5 may subject a Candidate/Diplomate to disciplinary action which may include, but not be limited to the Candidate not being Certified or the suspension or revocation of a Diplomate’s Certification by the ABPM.
The testing centers will proctor the examinations through video and/or direct surveillance and may capture testing events via audio and video recording. Video and audio tapes of examination sessions will be retained at the testing centers for at least thirty (30) days. At least one proctor shall maintain direct line-of-sight monitoring at all times during the administration of the initial Certification examinations.
If the testing center proctor observes or becomes aware of Candidate/Diplomate behavior that in any way suggests inappropriate activity or cheating, the proctor shall counsel the Candidate/Diplomate and may separate the Candidate/Diplomate into a separate testing area. The proctor may allow the Candidate/Diplomate to complete the examination but will generate a detailed irregularity report immediately upon awareness of the irregularity. As soon as practicable after the conclusion of the examination administration, the testing center will make available to the Board the irregularity report as well as any video and/or audio tapes of the activity in question for the Board’s review and possible disciplinary action against one or more Candidates/Diplomates.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection 3.5, the Board, testing center proctor and the ABPM reserve the right to dismiss one or more Candidates/Diplomates from the testing center on suspicion of inappropriate activity or cheating prior to the conclusion of the examination administration. The Board also reserves the right subsequently to invalidate the examination results of any Candidate/Diplomate judged by the Board to have engaged in, assisted, or otherwise been involved in inappropriate activity or cheating.
Upon judgment by the Board of irregular activity or cheating behavior, a Candidate/Diplomate may be disqualified. Any Candidate/Diplomate disqualified pursuant to this subsection 3.5 will be so notified in writing by the Chief Executive Officer (which may include notification via email) and that disqualified Candidate/Diplomate’s score shall be dropped from aggregate scoring for that examination administration. Readmission for examination of a disqualified Candidate/Diplomate will be considered after a period of three (3) Examination Cycles, contingent upon Board’s review and approval of the disqualified Candidate/Diplomate’s credentials using the then-current criteria for admission to the examination in the Specialty or Subspecialty for which Certification is being sought by the disqualified Candidate/Diplomate.
A Candidate/Diplomate shall have thirty (30) days to appeal after being advised in writing by the Chief Executive Officer that they have been disqualified pursuant to this subsection 3.5. The appeal should be accompanied by detailed information addressing all matters the Candidate/Diplomate believes refute the determination of the Board. Additionally, the appeal must be in writing, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Board at its office in Chicago, Illinois, and must be sent by Certified Mail, Overnight Mail or email (with delivery receipt). Appeals materials timely received by the Chief Executive Officer will be reviewed by the Chief Executive Officer, the Secretary and the responsible Vice Chair or Sub-Board Chair for the Specialty or Subspecialty examination from which the Candidate/Diplomate has been disqualified. The Candidate/Diplomate will be notified of the results of the appeal in writing (which may include email) as soon as practicable after a decision has been made by a majority vote of the Chief Executive Officer, Secretary and Vice Chair or Sub-Board Chair for the Specialty/Subspecialty examination from which the Candidate/Diplomate has been disqualified. The decision on appeal will be final and binding on the Candidate/Diplomate and the Board and not subject to further review.
If, during the course of sitting for any examination, a Candidate/Diplomate experiences disruptions or other issues that interfered with the Candidate/Diplomate’s taking the examination, such concerns must be reported in writing by the Candidate/Diplomate to the Chief Executive Officer no later than fourteen (14) calendar days after sitting for the examination. Examination disruptions or other issues interfering with a Candidate/Diplomate taking the examination at computer testing sites require the Candidate/Diplomate to request an incident report be filed at the site and to submit in writing to the Chief Executive Officer the details of the incident. Reporting requirements for computer testing sites may be different than non-computer-based testing facilities and it is the Candidate/Diplomate’s responsibility to file a report in a timely manner.
The term ‘board eligible’ has never been recognized by member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), including the ABPM, but the term continues to be used by credentialing organizations and others to recognize non-certified physicians as having equivalent status. In an effort to resolve this confusion for credentialers and patients, all member boards of the ABMS agreed to establish parameters under which non-certified physicians could actually be recognized as being board eligible and to further define the time limit for such board eligible status.
The Board Eligibility Period is the first seven (7) years after the completion of: (i) an ACGME-accredited residency or fellowship in a Specialty or Subspecialty, (ii) a RCPSC-accredited residency program, or (iii) a CFPC-accredited residency program as allowed pursuant to this Policies and Procedures Manual. After the Board Eligibility Period, residency- or fellowship-trained physicians will lose the ability to refer to themselves as Board Eligible and will need to fulfill additional requirements before they will be allowed to sit for the initial Certification examination.
Applicants who are beyond their Board Eligibility Period must fulfill the following requirements before the Applicant may submit an application or become a Candidate admitted by the Board to sit for an initial Certification examination:
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|An MPH Degree?*|
|An ABMS Board Certification|
|Practice Years Required||3||3||4||5||6||8|
Credentials: MPH Degree, An ABMS Board Certification
Practice Years Required: 3
Credentials: Residency, An ABMS Board Certification
Practice Years Required: 3
Credentials: MPH Degree
Practice Years Required: 4
Practice Years Required: 5
Credentials: An ABMS Board Certification
Practice Years Required: 6
Credentials: No MPH Degree, No ABMS Board Certification, No Residency
Practice Years Required: 8
*Without an MPH degree, you are still required to complete coursework (worth 3 credits each) in epidemiology, biostatistics, health services administration, environmental health sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Total practice years refers to the amount of practice time in the specialty area for which certification is being sought.