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Admission Requirements

In order to take the General Pediatrics Certifying Examination, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Graduation from Medical School
The applicant must be a graduate of a medical school that has been accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in the US, by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) in Canada or by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) in the US. An applicant who is a graduate of a medical school outside the US or Canada that is not accredited by the LCME, RCPSC or AOA, but is listed by the World Health Organization, may apply for the exam if he or she has a standard certificate either from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or the Medical Council of Canada. A copy of the ECFMG certificate must be submitted to the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) after submission of the application.

Graduates of a foreign medical school must also submit to the ABP a photocopy of their medical school diploma showing the medical degree and the date it was awarded. A certificate showing that the applicant has passed a final exam is not acceptable.

An applicant must complete 3 years of pediatric training in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) on the advice of the Review Committee (RC) for Pediatrics or in programs in Canada accredited by the RCPSC. View the policy for Osteopathic Pediatric Training and Eligibility for ABP Certification (PDF). The ABP recognizes and defines these 3 levels of pediatric training (PL-1 through PL-3) as follows:

PL-1: The first postgraduate year in general comprehensive pediatric training in an accredited program.

PL-2: The second postgraduate year, following PL-1, in general comprehensive pediatric training in an accredited program, but with increased responsibility for patient care and for the supervision of junior house staff and medical students.

PL-3: The third postgraduate year, following PL-2, in general comprehensive pediatric training in an accredited program, but with increasing responsibility for patient care and supervision of junior house staff and medical students.

The training curriculum must be compatible with the program requirements, which are available on the ACGME website. The trainee is expected to assume progressive responsibility for the care of patients and satisfactorily complete at least 12 months at each training level. Refer to the section “Absences from Residency Training” for the vacation and leave policy. Supervisory experience must be an integral part of the total three–year program. All applicants are advised to consult the ABP before undertaking any variations in training.

The ABP requires program directors to verify satisfactory completion of training and to evaluate the acceptability of the applicant as a practitioner of pediatrics. View Verification of Training by Pediatric Program Directors for details.

Training completed in ACGME-I programs is not creditable toward ABP certification.  Please refer to the section: Waiver of Accredited Training - Policy Regarding Individuals with Nonaccredited Training for more information if training is completed outside the US or Canada.


Applicants requesting admission to a certifying examination must have a valid (current), unrestricted allopathic and/or osteopathic medical license to practice medicine in one of the states, districts or territories of the United States or a province of Canada. If licenses are held in more than one jurisdiction, all licenses held by a physician should meet this requirement. Temporary and training licenses are not acceptable to meet the licensure requirement.

If an applicant has any action pending regarding the right to have an unrestricted license to practice medicine, admission to the exam may be denied. Refer to the ABP Licensure Policy (PDF) for additional information.