Public health and general preventive medicine focuses on promoting health, preventing disease, and managing the health of communities and defined populations. These practitioners combine population-based public health skills with knowledge of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention-oriented clinical practice in a wide variety of settings.
There are multiple pathways available to achieve board certification in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine through the ABPM. Find out easily which Pathway you may be qualified to apply through using our “Am I Eligible?” quiz.
This pathway applies to all applicants who have completed an ACGME-accredited or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) residency of not less than two years, in the specialty area for which certification is being sought.
The complementary pathway is designed to accommodate physicians who wish to make a mid-career shift into the practice of the specialty. In order to qualify through this pathway, physicians must complete two or more years of training in a clinical residency program. They must also complete one year with an ACGME-accredited residency program in the specialty area for which certification is being sought.
Current diplomates of the American Board of Preventive Medicine who possess certification in a primary specialty (Aerospace Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and Public Health and General Preventive Medicine) may apply for one additional ABPM primary specialty through the Special Pathway.
The Special Pathway may only be used by a physician to qualify for one additional ABPM Specialty Certificate. Subject to all eligibility requirements, a third (or more) ABPM Certificate may be obtained by a single physician exclusively through the Residency Pathway.
Diplomates with subspecialty certification (Addiction Medicine, Clinical Informatics, Medical Toxicology, and Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine) do not qualify for the Special Pathway.
Persons graduating from a school of medicine or school of osteopathic medicine prior to January 1, 1984 who have not formally completed all of the components described in the other pathways may be considered if their training and experience are judged by the Board to provide a suitable alternative for formal training.
The Alternative Pathway will no longer be available as a Pathway to ABPM Certification after the 2022 Examination Cycle.
To determine the amount of practice years required for your circumstance, please refer to the table below.
Thank you for contacting ABPM support.
We will review your message and respond by email within one business day.
Please be advised that calling in or creating additional support tickets will not expedite this process. We look forward to resolving your issue as promptly as possible!
The ABPM support team
|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.