Navigating the Osteopathic Pathway

We know that you have a lot of options when deciding which initial certification pathway to choose. Because we want you to be able to make the most informed decision, we have highlighted the steps of the journey, as well as some exciting programs and opportunities.

Step 1: Talk to your program director about signing up for the formative assessment.

The American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians (AOBFP) In-Service Exam (ISE), produced and administered by ACOFP, is a formative exam that will fulfill ACGME standard requirements and contains an osteopathic component that will fulfill ACGME’s OPP/OMM formative assessment requirement for programs that have Osteopathic Recognition (OR).

Step 2: Choose osteopathic initial certification.

AOBFP offers two options for initial certification—the traditional pathway or Early Entry Initial Certification (EEIC). Whenever possible, ACOFP recommends pursuing the EEIC pathway because it offers the convenience of taking a shortened initial certification written exam during residency—when skills and training are fresh. You will leave residency with your certification requirements completed, increasing marketability among employers and patients. In addition to featuring fewer questions, the EEIC written exam is offered at a lower cost than the traditional exam. To become board-certified in family medicine and OMT, you must complete the OMT performance (practical) exam, held once this year in conjunction with the ACOFP Annual Convention & Scientific Seminars in the spring.

Registration for the Fall 2023 Written (Cognitive) Exam—is now closed.
Exam dates: Sept. 11-15, 2023. 

Registration for the 2024 EEIC Written (Cognitive) Exam—is now closed.
Exam dates: Jan. 16-19, 2024
Exam location: Remote Platform
Registration opens: Aug. 15, 2023
First deadline: On or before Nov. 16, 2023 (no late fees)
Final deadline: Dec. 16, 2023 (late fees will apply)

Registration for the Spring 2024 OMT Performance Exam—is now closed.
Exam dates: April 4-5, 2024
Exam location: New Orleans, Louisiana (in conjunction with the annual ACOFP conference)
Registration opens: Oct. 1, 2023
First deadline: On or before Nov. 30, 2023 (no late fees)
Final deadline: Jan. 5, 2024 (late fees will apply)

Remember: To be eligible for the EEIC pathway, taking two of our ISEs is required.

Step 3: Apply for the ACOFP Foundation Initial Certification Grant.

In 2019, the ACOFP Foundation launched the Initial Certification Grant, which awards up to $1,400 for exam fees and travel expenses to residents who take both the AOBFP written (cognitive) exam and the OMT performance (practical) exam and who don’t have complete funding support from their program. Partial grants may be awarded.

The Fall 2023/Spring 2024 grant cycle is now open through February 28, 2024. While applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, it is encouraged to apply early.

Resource: On-Demand Webinar

Explore the pathway to osteopathic initial certification with leaders from ACOFP, AOBFP. and the ACOFP Foundation in the on-demand webinar, Navigating the Osteopathic Pathway: A 2023 Guide. Learn how the ISE correlates to the AOBFP Board exam, EEIC and and why you should take advantage of the ACOFP Foundation's Initial Certification Grant.