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Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must hold a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.

48 months of graduate medical education in an Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program(s) that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) at the time of training completion.

  • Completing residency training after September 30th makes you ineligible to take the Qualifying Exam in that calendar year.

Or, completion of no less than 60 months in a clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology program(s) accredited by the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (CRCPSC) no later than September 30th.

  • A minimum of 48 months of training for Canadian candidates must be in Obstetrics and Gynecology. No credit for training outside of Canada can be counted toward meeting the 60-month training requirement.

Or, 48 months in an American Osteopathic Association (AOA) accredited program that achieves ACGME accreditation prior to your graduation.

No credit will be given for residency training in programs accredited by any other body, including ACGME-International.

As a resident, you're expected to take allotted vacation time. Foregoing vacation time or necessary sick leave to shorten the required 48 months of training or to “make up” for time lost due to sickness or other absence is not permitted.

Either in Program Year 3 (PGY3) or in year 4, your residency program must include the responsibilities of a chief (senior) resident in accordance with the description of the program as accredited by the ACGME.

  • Residents who receive credit for time spent in a non-ACGME-approved residency program must serve their senior year as a PGY4. (See section below, "Flexibility in Your Residency Training".)

When a resident’s graduate education and clinical experience have been gained in more than one residency program, the Qualifying Exam application must be accompanied by verification of your satisfactory performance in each program.

Fewer than six months in any OB-GYN residency program will not count toward meeting the 48-month requirement.

The requirement to complete a Surgical Skills Program to be eligible for ABOG certification was implemented in 2020. Residency graduates who pass the 2023 Qualifying Examination will be required to provide documentation of completion of a Surgical Skills Program to become active candidates for the Certifying Exam. This means that these physicians must achieve FLS or EMIGS certification to be eligible to move forward as an Active Candidate for OB GYN certification.

Learn more about the Surgical Skills Program standard.

If you have a firm commitment to a position in an ACGME-accredited subspecialty fellowship, you may be allowed flexibility in your residency training program.

  • To be eligible, your residency Program Director must submit a request to ABOG prior to the start of your PGY3 year.
  • If ABOG approves, the PGY3 year must be served as a senior resident, with duties and responsibilities similar to those of a PGY4 resident.
  • If you satisfactorily complete your PGY3 senior resident year, you may begin the subspecialty fellowship in PGY4. If the fellowship is not completed successfully, you must return to a residency program and complete a full 12-month PGY4.
  • Credit received for training in a non- OB GYN ACGME-accredited residency training program disqualifies you from the flexibility option.

You can be granted up to six months credit for previous training in a non- OB GYN ACGME-accredited residency if you're entering an ACGME-accredited OB GYN residency. Your OB GYN residency Program Director must request approval for a specific number of months—not to exceed six—prior to the start of the PGY4 year.

Leaves of absence and vacation can be granted at the discretion of the Program Director in accordance with local policy.

  • But the total of such vacation and leaves for any reason—including, but not limited to, vacation, sick leave, parental leave, or personal leave - may not exceed 12 weeks in any of the four (4) years of residency training.
  • If any of these maximum weeks of leave per year are exceeded, the residency must be extended for the duration of time that you were absent in excess of 12 weeks in years one, two, three, and four.
  • Time missed for educational conferences does not count toward the eight weeks.

In addition to the yearly leave limits above, you can't take more than a total 24 weeks of leave over the four (4) years of residency training. If this limit is exceeded, the residency must be extended for the duration of time that you were absent in excess of 24 weeks.


  • A resident takes three weeks of leave in PGY1, 12 weeks in PGY2, three weeks in PGY3, and three weeks in PGY4. This is a total of 21 weeks. There is no required extension of the residency.

  • A resident takes three weeks of leave in PGY1, 4 weeks in PGY2, five weeks in PGY3, and 12 weeks in PGY4. This is a total of 24 weeks. There is no required extension of the residency.

  • A resident takes three weeks of leave in PGY1 and PGY2, 16 weeks of leave plus two weeks’ vacation in PGY3, and three weeks in PGY4. This is a total of 27 weeks. This exceeds the yearly threshold by six weeks and the total threshold by three weeks. The residency must be extended by six weeks with an educational plan submitted and approved by ABOG.

Important to Note:

  • The number of days that equals a “week” is a local issue that is determined by the hospital and Program Director, not ABOG.
  • Vacation and sick leave time may not be used to reduce the actual time spent completing the required 48 months of training or to “make up” for time lost due to sickness or other leave.
  • If you have your residency extended to complete the required 48 months, you may sit for the Qualifying Exam in June if you will have completed all 48 months by September 30th of the same year. The results of your exam will not be released until and unless the Program Director notifies ABOG that you have successfully completed your residency by September 30th.

For all leave policy details, view the Residency Leave Policy.


The Program Director is required to attest to your satisfactory performance by filling out and signing a Residency Program Affidavit, attesting to your competence, and program completion.The Program Director is expected to sign on behalf of the program, not as an individual.

You are required to maintain a record of the number and type of obstetric and gynecologic procedures performed during residency to demonstrate the adequacy of your operative experience.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for the Qualifying Exam if more than eight years have elapsed since the completion of residency training. Years spent in an ACGME OB GYN fellowship or a second residency will not count towards the eight-year limit.

  • A candidate who fails to become certified with eight years will be required to complete a minimum of 6-months of supervised practice at a hospital affiliated with an ACGME-accredited training program. Please review the details in the "Regaining Eligibility for OB GYN Certification Policy" to best understand this process. 
View the Specialty Qualifying Exam Bulletin here.