Jump to content

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.

  • An individual achieves Active Candidate status by passing the ABOG Qualifying Examination.
  • 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).  
  • 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.
  • Active Candidate status which has expired may be regained by repeating and passing the ABOG Qualifying Examination. 

  • 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.