Note to readers: If you are considering becoming a Diplomate of the ABIHM, read this entire page! Though it’s tempting to gloss over the generous volume of text, all information below is important where the ABIHM certification process is concerned! You will find that the 3-5 minutes it takes to read the page will save you much time.
Application for certification as a Diplomate of the ABIHM is exclusively for MD or DO physicians who choose to incorporate integrative holistic principles into their practices, and to demonstrate to their colleagues and patients that they have undergone the only comprehensive, peer-reviewed, psychometrically validated examination process in integrative holistic medicine. The certification enables physicians to obtain a credential that attests to their knowledge in the field and affords them the recognition of having met a recognized standard of achievement.
The certifying process occurs as a seven year cycle. Maintenance of Certification is required every seven years, but does not involve sitting for the exam again. The following steps are necessary for initial certification:
2. You must register online and pay applicable fees to launch the process. Click Here to Register for Initial Certification.
3. Log in on the top right yellow “Register or Log In” button of the homepage navigation bar. Read the account page carefully, and scroll to the bottom of the page. Under MY ABIHM, you will find MY CERTIFICATION PROGRESS, where you can upload the following documents: scanned copy or verification of active, unrestricted license to practice medicine within the USA or Canada (expiration date MUST be visible) AND copy or verification of board certification letter or diploma–current or expired–(or residency certificate if board eligible). Candidates may sit for the exam if board eligible and have completed or are with two months of completing residency, but ABIHM Diplomate status cannot become activated until certification is obtained through an ACGME, AOA, or RCPSC approved specialty.
4. You must also upload a 600-1,000 word paper (1-3 pages) describing your “journey” as a physician and any education or interest in integrative/holistic medicine, including your reflection of any one of the 10 Core Principles of Integrative Holistic Medicine.
5. Achievement of a passing score on the certification exam. Please come to the pencil and paper examination prepared to show government issued ID (valid driver’s license or passport). If you are taking the computer based exam, Pearson Vue will notify you of the ID requirements.
Registration Is Now Open for Final 2 Exams:
1. November 8th, 2013, Pencil and Paper Exam, St. Petersburg
2. January 27th-February 8th, 2014
SEE CRITICAL DEADLINES BELOW
Integrative Medicine: A Specialty in Transition
Since 2000, the ABIHM has been the only board to provide a peer-reviewed, psychometrically validated exam in comprehensive integrative holistic medicine. In May of 2014, that will change, when the emerging American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABoIM) offers its first examination, under the administration of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). The ABoIM will require a fellowship level of training in integrative medicine. However, physicians who can demonstrate education/experience in integrative medicine by 12/1/16 are eligible to have the fellowship requirement waived. ABIHM Diplomates automatically qualify partially to have the fellowship requirement waived. Please thoroughly read our Specialty Page to fully understand the implications of the new board to you as an ABIHM candidate. The ABIHM offers our upcoming 2 examinations above as final opportunities for candidates to help meet the eligibility requirements of the ABoIM. ABIHM Diplomates who wish to become certified by the ABoIM must sit for the ABoIM exam. Once the ABoIM exam is launched, the ABIHM will continue to offer community, education, and a high standard of care; we will also continue to offer the maintenance of certification process to our Diplomates.
The January/February 2014 exam will be the ABIHM’s final board exam that can help ABoIM candidates qualify for the time limited eligibility equivalencies established by the ABoIM.
About the Computer Based Exam
Our January/February 2014 exam is available as computer based exams in 200 cities within the USA and Canada. Please see the Pearson Vue Exam Page to locate a testing site in your area and learn about their ID requirements.
To be able to schedule your four hour exam time and date with Pearson Vue within the two week window above, you must have provided payment to the ABIHM and uploaded all of your documents. Once your documents have been verified (always allow 1-2 business days for document verification to occur), we will than assign a unique Pearson ID to you (allow 7 days from verification to receipt of unique ID#). Once you have received your Pearson ID #, plan to allow up to 14 days before attempting to schedule an exam time with Pearson Vue. You may register for an ABIHM exam anytime, but you may not choose your exam seating with Pearson until 2-3 months before the computer based exam begins. In order to choose a preferred testing center and time, it is advisable to become a Completed Applicant well in advance of 28 days before the first day of a scheduled exam. You must contact Pearson Vue to schedule an exam seating; they will not contact you.
About the Pencil and Paper Exam
The pencil and paper exam is given in a large exam hall in the hotel venue where the Annual Conference is held. The exam is preceded by a brief group meditation, and chair massage is provided in 4 corners of the room. Non-distracting slides of nature are shown within the exam hall. A healthy breakfast is provided. The exam begins promptly at 8 AM and ends at noon. The content and format is the same as for the computer based exam. Examinees are advised to arrive no later than 7:30 AM to allow for registration, ID check, preferred seating, and breakfast.
All required ABIHM Documents (completed profile, license, board certification documentation, and essay) must be uploaded to your ABIHM account by the following deadlines:
Computer Based Exam: At least 28 days before the FIRST day of the exam
Pencil and Paper Exam: At least 14 days before the exam date
November 2013 Paper and Pencil exam (St. Petersburg, FL*): Register and Submit All Documents by Friday, October 25, 2013
January 27th – Feb 8th, 2014 Computer Based Exam: Register and Submit All Documents by Monday, December 30, 2013
Application components for all ABIHM exams (whether pencil and paper or computer based) must be uploaded onto your account area and should NOT be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the ABIHM office. Do not include CV’s or DEA registrations in your exam registration.
* The November 8th, 2013 exam is at the conclusion of the Annual Conference. You are not required to attend the conference to take the exam, but it is a valuable opportunity to learn and connect with peers.
Registering and Paying for the Exam
Exam fee for Computer Based Exams: $975
Early bird exam fee for November 2013 seating in St. Petersburg: $800 through 10/4/13; $850 through 10/16/12; $900 after 10/16/12. Registration closes on 11/7/13 at noon. Location: Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Gold Club, St. Petersburg, FL.
Please read our policies carefully before registering for the exam, which include our cancellation and rescheduling regulations.You are required to choose one of the following exam venues within the drop-down menu of the registration page. Once you have chosen one of the following options, your choice is NOT modifiable, so pay careful attention to the options and ensure that you are adequately prepared.
1. November 8th, 2013, Pencil and Paper Exam, at the conclusion of our Annual Conference, The Science and Clinical Application of Integrative Holistic Medicine, held November 3rd through 7th, 2013 in St. Petersburg–OR–
2. January 27th-February 8th, 2014, Computer Based Exam (you will choose one 4 hour seating)
See Certification FAQ’s for more details.
In order to be charged the lower fee to undergo the Paper and Pencil Exam, you must use the exam coupon code provided on the registration page. Do not use this code if you are registering for either Computer Based Exam, or your registration will be subject to cancellation.
Preparing for the Exam
We expect our Diplomates to have a comfortable working knowledge of the material in our Curriculum Study Guide (CSG), which appears as a pdf document in your account area upon exam registration. By no means are all questions on the exam derived from the CSG, and we also advise you to learn from other resources. Please see Resources for Learning for more details. We have recently launched a robust E-Learning Platform that includes video and audio learning opportunities from past conferences, plus CME credit opportunities, and the searchable online version of the CSG. Though the conference speakers are not aware of the exam content, examinees who have attended the Annual Conference tend to find the experience to be beneficial for exam preparation.
Board Certification Check-List
1. Add firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book.
2. After payment, log in to the account page, and read thoroughly. At the bottom of the page under MY ABIHM, complete your profile, and if desired, your list of modalities and a mini web page (published after you pass the exam).
3. Upload required documents (see MY CERTIFICATION PROGRESS under MY ABIHM in your account area). MY CERTIFICATION PROGRESS is the area where you will also ascertain verification of documents and receive your ABIHM test results.
4. Ascertain that your status is “Completed Applicant”. If you are board eligible, your status will not advance to “Completed Applicant” before the exam. Confirm that your status is otherwise complete with ABIHM office.
5. If you are taking the computer based exam, use your Pearson ID# to schedule directly with Pearson Vue (see above for more details).
6. Bring proper ID to the examination.
If you have purchased the Curriculum Study Guide (as a pdf document) no more than one year prior to exam registration, please call this to our attention with an email to email@example.com when you register for the exam so that your fee can be refunded. No refunds are available for any ABIHM Library product including the Comprehensive E-Guide.