ACGME Shares American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Statement regarding COVID-19

As a resource to the graduate medical education community, the ACGME is sharing the following statement from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) regarding COVID-19 accommodations. The statement reads:

AOA Announces One-Year Extension of Board Eligibility
BOS updates board certification policy to support physicians during COVID-19

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) and division of Certifying Board Services has announced a one-year extension of board eligibility status will be granted to graduating residents and other physicians seeking initial certification or recertification in 2020, among other policy changes, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand that in the midst of these extraordinary times, the priority for all physicians and health care providers must be caring for their patients, families and communities. We’re committed to doing everything we can to support osteopathic physicians through this historic public health crisis,” said BOS Chair Raymond Depa, DO.

Recognizing the impact of COVID-19, the BOS announced the following AOA Board Certification policy changes, which take effect immediately:

Initial certification

  • A one-year extension of board eligibility status will be granted to graduating residents and other physicians seeking initial certification for primary, subspecialty and conjoint boards who are unable to sit for their certification board exams in 2020.
  • Once testing windows are reopened at Prometric and Pearson VUE, graduating residents and other physicians may still choose to take their initial certification exam in 2020. Please note, seat availability may be limited.
  • In addition to traditional venues for administration of initial certification exams, the AOA Certifying Board Services team is investigating options for leveraging technology to support remote proctoring of exam administration in 2020 and beyond. Information on these options will be communicated as it becomes available.

Assistance for residents
The AOA defers to the ACGME and individual training programs for their guidance and policies to accommodate, manage and address gaps in training and other GME-related challenges. Once training requirements are met, the AOA’s specialty boards will be ready to assist residents with the following:

  • Expedited board certification;
  • Identification of resources to fund application fees for residents experiencing loss of income an financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Case-by-case review for accelerated board certification timelines when completion of on-time training is negatively impacted by situations beyond the resident’s control.
  • Extension of Early Entry Initial Certification (EEIC) pathways and application fees for residents who are registered for spring 2020 EEIC exams that are rescheduled for a later date due to COVID-19.

The AOA also announced policy changes for Osteopathic Continuous Certification, including a one-year extension of board certification for diplomates whose certification expires in 2020 and who are required by their specialty board to take a traditional written recertification exam.

For more information on assistance for resident physicians impacted by COVID-19 related exam postponements, email  

Media Contact Information
Susan White

Susan White

Vice President, Communications