Board Certification

There are many reasons why a currently practicing physician should consider board certification by the American Osteopathic Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AOBPMR). Some of the advantages include:


Board certification is a recognized professional benchmark of competency and quality of care with regard to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation practice. AOBPMR board certified physicians have the opportunity to teach in an Osteopathic academic setting. AOBPMR board certified physicians have the capability to sit on the Board, author board questions and to get involved in the board certification process itself.


Board certified physicians have legal recognition of expertise allowing the board certified physiatrist to perform IME’s and depositions which are reimbursed at a higher rate than routine patient care. Many hospitals and insurance companies require a physician on staff to be either board eligible or board certified to be accepted by their insurance plans.
Board certification allows the physiatrist to perform record reviews and peer reviews of other physiatrists which generate greater revenue than patient care. In some states, board certified physicians are paid more by insurance companies for the same services than non-board certified physicians.

Board certification represents competency in the eyes of the legal system.


To be eligible for osteopathic board certification through the AOBPMR an applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The applicant must be a graduate of an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine, holding the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy.
  • The applicant must maintain an unrestricted license to practice in the state or territory where his/her practice is conducted.
  • The applicant must be able to show evidence of conformity to the standards set forth in the Code of Ethics of the American Osteopathic Association.
  • The applicant must have been a member in good standing of the American Osteopathic Association or the Canadian Osteopathic Association for a continuous period of at least two (2) years immediately prior to the date of certification.
  • The applicant must have satisfactorily completed an internship of at least one (1) year in a hospital approved for intern training by the American Osteopathic Association, or by acceptable alternative pathways prescribed by the AOA.
  • A period of not less than three (3) years of specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation approved by the AOA shall be required, after the required one (1) year of AOA approved internship. This training shall include but is not limited to specific requirements of training outlined in the Basic Standards of Residency Training in Physiatry as supplied by the Practice Affiliate with AOA approval.
  • Alternately, the applicant may be an ABMS-Certified DO seeking AOA certification under the appropriate alternative pathway who has received approval from the AOA.
  • The applicant must practice as an Osteopathic Physiatrist for a period of at least one (1) full time year subsequent to the minimum three (3) years of residency training, or must have completed as acceptable one (1) year of full time fellowship training, or an acceptable combination of these, subsequent to the minimum three (3) years of Residency training.

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