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Types of Board Status

Representation of Certification Status Policy 


Diplomates of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as individuals currently in the process of achieving certification and maintaining certification, must accurately state their certification status at all times. This includes descriptions in curriculum vitae, advertisements, publications, directories, letterhead, business cards and websites.


​Individuals may describe themselves as certified by ABOG or as an ABOG Diplomate only when they hold a current certificate awarded by ABOG. Diplomates with expired time-limited certification or those whose certification is revoked may not claim ABOG certification and must revise all descriptions of their qualifications accordingly. Prior or retired Diplomates may indicate the dates of previous certification but must indicate that the certification is no longer valid. If a Diplomate has more than one certification and allows the subspecialty certification to lapse, they should revise public materials (letterhead, business cards, advertisements, etc.) to reflect those certifications that are currently valid.

When a physician misrepresents board certification status, ABOG will contact the individual and may notify local credentialing bodies, licensing bodies, law enforcement agencies, and others. Individuals in violation of this policy may be subject to legal action. In addition, use of the ABOG logo/trademark for promotional purposes on websites, brochures, etc., by Diplomates or institutions is not permitted under any circumstances. Individuals in violation of this policy may be pursued in a civil lawsuit for trademark infringement and misuse if they use any part of the trademark of the ABOG.

ABOG Registered Residency Graduate 


After completing or nearing completion of an ACGME-approved residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology and meeting certain requirements, an individual completes an application to begin the certification process. When and if the Board rules that they have fulfilled the requirements to take the qualifying examination that person becomes a "registered residency graduate." Such individuals will be listed on the ABOG website as "Not Certified" until the certifying examination has been completed successfully.


The term "Board Eligible" is not used or recognized by ABOG.


Active Candidate


  1. An individual achieves Active Candidate status by passing the ABOG Qualifying Examination.
  2. All candidates who graduated from residency in 2020 or later must also have completed one of the two approved Surgical Skills Programs: Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) or Essentials in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (EMIGS).  
  3. To maintain Active Candidate status, the candidate must fulfill all requirements for admission to the Certifying Examination and must not have exceeded the limitations to admissibility for the Certifying Examination.
  4. Active Candidate status which has expired may be regained by repeating and passing the ABOG Qualifying Examination. 



  1. An individual becomes a Diplomate of the Board when the qualifying and certifying examinations have been satisfactorily completed and the ABOG certifying diploma has been awarded.
  2. Diplomate status is time-limited and requires participation in and completion of all parts of the continuous Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process.

Diplomate: Probationary Status


  1. A Diplomate who has one or more medical licenses that have been placed on probation by a licensing authority who has (a) requested probationary status, and (b) has been approved by the appropriate ABOG committee.
  2. Probationary status will not be allowed if the physician has been convicted of a felony.
  3. Probationary status will end and the physician will be returned to Diplomate status when all of the restrictions and probation have been removed by the licensing authority or when they have expired.

Expired Certificate


  1. An individual who has failed to complete the maintenance of certification process prior to the expiration of their time-limited certifying diploma will have an expired certificate.
  2. Individuals with expired certificates are no longer Diplomates of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and may not represent themselves in any medium as being "ABOG Board Certified."
  3. Former Diplomates whose time-limited certificates have expired may regain Diplomate status by successfully completing a re-entry process, unless the certificate has remained expired for six or more years. These individuals are not eligible to apply for the re-entry examination. They may re-establish Diplomate status only by sitting for and passing the qualifying and certifying examinations.

Retired Diplomate


  1. This is an individual who has retired from clinical practice at a time when they were a Diplomate.
  2. If they return to active practice after their time-limited certificate has lapsed, they must regain Diplomate status by successfully completing a re-entry process, unless they have been retired for six or more years. These individuals are not eligible to apply for the re-entry examination. They may re-establish Diplomate status only by sitting for and passing the qualifying and certifying examinations.
  3. An individual who retires from the practice of medicine must inform ABOG of this fact to gain retired status. Failure to notify ABOG will result in loss of certification when the expiration date of their certificate is reached.

Revoked Certificate


  1. This is an individual who has had their Diplomate status revoked for cause by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  2. Cause may be due to, but is not limited to, licensure revocation or disciplinary restriction by any State Board of Medical Examiners, violation of ABOG or ACOG rules and/or ethical principles, or felony convictions.
  3. Such individuals will have the reason(s) for restriction(s) made available for public review if requested.
  4. It is the responsibility of each individual to inform the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology when disciplinary restrictions are placed on their license to practice medicine.
  5. In order to re-establish certification, these individuals must inform ABOG that the restrictions on their license(s) have been removed, and contact ABOG to determine what will be required to re-establish Diplomate status.


Policy approved on 1/24/2014

Policy updated on 12/19/2022





The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) recognizes that patients have diverse gender identities and is striving to use gender-inclusive language in its publications, literature, and other printed and digital materials. In some instances, ABOG uses the word “woman” (and the pronouns “she” and “her”) to describe patients or individuals whose sex assigned at birth was female, whether they identify as female, male, or non-binary. As gender language continues to evolve in the scientific and medical communities, ABOG will periodically reassess this usage and will make appropriate adjustments as necessary. When describing or referencing study populations used in research, ABOG will use the gender terminology reported by the study investigators.   


Updated June 2021