The application for the 2023 initial certification exam is now open. To begin an application start here.
The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) recognizes that Candidates who are eligible to take the Initial Certification examination or the MOC Examinations may need reasonable accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ABPM supports the intent of the ADA and will attempt to make reasonable accommodations for Candidates with verified physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. Candidates for examination will be reminded by the ABPM, 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 ABPM will provide reasonable accommodations during testing to provide equal opportunity for Candidate’s with such verified impairments. Initial Certification 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.
Candidates who receive a failing grade on an Initial Certification examination have 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 Executive Director in writing that the Candidate has chosen to have the examination scored. In the event the Candidate timely notifies the Executive Director 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 Executive Director 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 Executive Director in writing that the Candidate has chosen to have the examination scored. In the event the Candidate timely notifies the Executive Director 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 Executive Director 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 observing cheating behavior must bring it to the attention of the testing center proctor.
The testing centers will proctor the examinations through video and direct surveillance and will capture testing events via audio and video recording. Video and audio tapes of testing sessions will be retained at the testing centers for thirty (30) days. At least one certified proctor shall maintain direct line-of-sight monitoring at all times during the Examination administration.
If the testing center proctor observes or becomes aware of candidate behavior that in any way suggests inappropriate activity or cheating, the proctor shall counsel the candidate and may separate the candidate into a separate testing area. The proctor may allow the candidate to complete the test but will generate a detailed irregularity report immediately upon awareness of the irregularity. The testing center will make available to the Board this report as well as video and/or audio tapes of the activity in question.
The testing center proctor has the option of removing a candidate from the Examination if such candidate does not cooperate with the steps taken to assure Examination and site security, candidate verification, and candidate monitoring. For reasons of privacy and protection from disruption, the Board and the testing center reserve the prerogative not to remove a candidate showing irregular behavior from the Examination or to relocate the candidate. The Board also reserves the right subsequently to invalidate the Examination of the candidate or of those candidates judged to be involved in cheating.
Upon confirmation of observed cheating behavior, the candidate will be disqualified. The disqualified candidate will be notified and the respective score(s) will be dropped from aggregate scoring. Readmission for examination will be considered after a period of three years contingent upon Board review of credentials using criteria for admission applicable at the time of review, including current letters of reference.
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 Executive Director 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 Executive Director 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 ABPM has defined board eligibility as the first seven years after the completion of ACGME-accredited residency training in a Preventive Medicine specialty area. This policy became effective on January 1, 2012; therefore, the 7 year eligibility period began on January 1, 2012 for any physician who did their residency prior to the effective date of the policy. During the 7-year eligibility period, physicians must continue to meet all of the ongoing requirements to sit for the Examination, such as the maintenance of a full, valid, and unrestricted license. After the 7-year eligibility period, beginning in 2019, residency-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 Examination.
Individuals who are beyond their 7 year period of eligibility must fulfill the following requirements before they will be allowed to take the 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.