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Adolescent Medicine Certification

Eligibility Criteria for Certification in Adolescent Medicine

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) in collaboration with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) has established a procedure for certification in adolescent medicine. To be eligible for this subspecialty examination, a physician must be certified in either pediatrics by the ABP, internal medicine by the ABIM, or family medicine by the ABFM. This document provides the requirements of the ABP. In addition to the specific admission requirements listed below, General Eligibility Criteria for all ABP Subspecialties must be fulfilled to be eligible for certification. (Note: A candidate who has a primary certificate from ABIM or ABFM should contact that board regarding its eligibility criteria.) Examination registration dates may differ for each board.


Three years of full-time, broad based fellowship training in adolescent medicine are required to be completed in a program accredited for training in adolescent medicine by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in the United States or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Absences from Training

No continuous absence of more than one year will be permitted. Due to the potential for significant changes in medicine over time, the Credentials Committee must review requests for previous credit when a fellow has interrupted fellowship for more than 12 months.

Absences/leaves in excess of three months during the three years of training, whether for vacation, parental leave, illness, and so forth, must be made up. If the program director believes that the candidate is well qualified and has met all requirements, the program director may submit a petition to the ABP requesting an exemption to the policy. Training time cannot be waived for convenience, such as for fellows who begin training off cycle.

Part-time training may be completed over no more than six years.

The following must be accomplished in order to become certified in the subspecialty:

  • The program director must submit a final evaluation verifying satisfactory completion of the required training, evaluating clinical competence, including professionalism, and providing evidence of scholarly activity/research.
  • The fellow must meet the criteria stated in the “Principles Regarding the Assessment of Scholarly Activity.”
  • The fellow must pass the subspecialty certifying examination.

It should be noted that these criteria and conditions are subject to change without notice. All applicants are advised to contact the ABP to ascertain whether the information they have is current.