ABMS Subspecialty Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine
In 2006 the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved the creation of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) as a subspecialty of 10 participating boards.
Since 2008, member boards of ABMS and AOA have certified a growing number of physicians in the specialty-level practice of hospice and palliative medicine.
Since 2014, all physicians are required to complete a 12-month, accredited, hospice and palliative medicine fellowship to be eligible to take the certification examination.
If you're a midcareer physician interested in certification but ineligible for certification through ABMS or AOA, learn more about hospice medical director certification through the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board (HMDCB).
This is only general information. It is important to contact your applicable primary certification board for detailed requirements.
Eligibility for Initial Certification
The initial certification exam in Hospice and Palliative Medicine for allopathic physicians is administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Each cosponsoring board publishes its own eligibility criteria for physicians seeking admission to the HPM certification exam.
You can visit your primary board for specific criteria with the links above. The initial certification exam is offered in the fall every other year (even numbered years).
In general, candidates must
- be board certified and in good standing by one of the 10 primary boards
- hold a valid, unrestricted, and unchallenged license to practice medicine
- demonstrate clinical competence and moral and ethical behavior in a clinical setting, typically with a letter or affidavit from the fellowship program director
- have satisfactorily completed a 12-month fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine with an ACGME-accredited HPM fellowship program.
The initial Hospice and Palliative Medicine Certification Examination is a comprehensive, 1-day, computer-based examination of multiple-choice questions in the single-best-answer format with an absolute standard for passing.
The content blueprint includes the content areas covered, their relative percentages, and the approximate number of questions for each content area to be included on a typical examination. The examination is administered to candidates from all boards at the same time through Pearson VUE Testing Centers.
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is responsible for administering the examination on behalf of all 10 boards. Please visit your primary board for registration information.
You can learn more about taking the exam and upcoming initial certification test dates and Maintenance of Certification test dates from ABIM and your primary board.
How to Apply
You can register for the certification exam through the primary board where you are certified. Each board is responsible for developing its own application materials.
How to Prepare
AAHPM has developed products, courses, and resources to help you prepare for the exam. Browse the products and choose what is right for you.