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Candidate Board Status Descriptions

After completing or nearing completion of residency in obstetrics and gynecology, you may apply to begin the certification process, which starts with the Qualifying Exam. As you move toward this milestone, make note of the following:


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

  • Once you pass the Qualifying Exam, your status changes to Active Candidate.
  • To maintain Active Candidate status, you'll need to meet certain requirements that will gain you admission to take the Certifying Exam

  • Since 2010, physicians seeking certification are required to achieve it within eight years. The clock starts as soon as you complete your residency.
  • If you aren't certified within eight years, you'll be required to complete a minimum of six months of additional training at an ACGME-accredited training program to regain eligibility to apply for the Qualifying Exam (see next section below).
  • Training in an ACGME-accredited residency or fellowship doesn't count toward the eight-year limit.
  • Participation in other fellowships or graduate education programs doesn't extend the eight-year limit.

  • If you fall into the category of needing the additional six-month training in an ACGME-accredited training program (because you didn't become certified within the eight-year time limit), consider contacting residency programs in your state for options.
  • Remember this: You'll need to be licensed in the same state where you receive your additional training.
  • Training needs to include all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology, including both inpatient and outpatient care.
  • You must also attend didactic activities.
  • Once you've been accepted by a program, submit an overview of that program to ABOG for approval.
  • Once you complete the additional six-month program, you have four years to become certified.

  • If you were certified but let your certification lapse and expire, then you have to take and pass both the Qualifying and Certifying Exams again.
  • In this scenario, after taking the passing the Qualifying Exam, you have four years to take and pass the Certifying Exam.