Click Here to Register for Initial Certification.
1. How do I know if I’m qualified to sit for the exam? You are eligible to undergo our certification process only if these three criteria are ALL met: 1) You are an MD or a DO; 2) You have a current license to practice medicine in the USA or Canada; and 3) You are board eligible or certified (currently or in the past) in an ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education), AOA (American Osteopathic Association), RCPSC (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) or CFPC (College of Family Physicians of Canada) approved specialty. You may sit for the exam if you are board eligible and can provide your residency certificate or verify that you are within two months of completion of residency, but ABIHM certification status will not become active until you have become board certified in your own ACGME, AOA, RCPSC or CFPC approved specialty.
2. If my first experience with integrative holistic medicine is the Annual Conference, will it provide adequate preparation to pass the exam? No. We strongly discourage newcomers from taking the exam without any previous experience. Becoming a diplomate of the ABIHM requires assimilating a large body of information that cannot be learned in short order. Upon registration for the exam, you will be issued our Curriculum Study Guide (CSG), which contains much of our core material. You should be very familiar with the material in the CSG before you sit for the exam, and we recommend that you also learn from other resources (see Resources for Learning).
3. Who administers the exam? Scripps or the ABIHM? The ABIHM is 100% responsible for the certification process. Please refer all questions pertaining to the exam to Nancy Sudak, MD, Executive Director of the ABIHM. Any administrative questions pertaining to the Annual Conference (registration issues, scheduling questions, location inquiries, meal questions, CME credits, etc.) should be addressed directly with Scripps Personnel either through the contact information purveyed on the conference brochure or at the Scripps table at the Review Course. Please note that registration for the Annual Review Course and registration for the ABIHM are entirely separate processes.
4. If I take the exam, is the Annual Conference a prerequisite? No. The Annual Conference is optional. Most candidates who take the exam do elect to attend the Annual Conference,which does offer meaningful review of the ABIHM Curriculum, but in no way is it required. Please note that the computer based exams are not immediately preceded by a conference, but the ABIHM now has both video and audio of previous Annual Conferences available on our Education page, www.abihm.org/education-and-training.
5. How far in advance of the exam do I need to submit my documents? The required documents (license verification, conventional board certification–past or current–verification, and essay) must be received by the ABIHM office at least 28 days before the first day of the computer based exam and at least 14 days before the pencil and paper exam. We strongly advise computer based exam candidates to submit their documents months ahead of the exam; the scheduling process with Pearson Vue can be initiated only after all documents have been verified by the ABIHM office.
6. What is the format of the exam? The examination is composed entirely of multiple choice and true/false questions. You will not incur any point deductions for incorrect answers.
7. What is the pass rate of the exam? 85-90% of those who sit for the exam will typically pass.
8. What do I need to bring to the exam? We provide pencils and all necessary materials. Please come to the exam prepared to offer government issued ID (valid passport or driver’s license). Cell phones, pagers, and beeping watches must be turned off during the exam. Candidates who answer cell phones during the exam will not be permitted to complete the exam, nor receive a refund. Calculators are not necessary, and no open books are permitted. If you are taking the computer based exam, Pearson Vue will share its regulations with you directly.
9. How long does it take to complete the exam? We allow up to four hours to complete 351 questions. Some candidates complete the exam in as little as 2-2.5 hours; most candidates easily complete the exam in around 3 to 3.5 hours.
10. How long does it take to receive exam results? We make every effort to convey test results as soon as we receive and review them. The process typically takes up to 6-8 weeks. We will announce the timing of the release of exam results on our website, and your score will be available on the private area of your profile page. We will send you your certificate shortly thereafter.
11. What is the refund policy for the exam? Exam registration is refundable minus a $200 administrative fee only if the ABIHM receives a written cancellation request at least two full weeks before the examination date. No refunds are available for “no-shows”, those who cancel late, or those who have not submitted their documents by the required deadline. You may reschedule to a subsequent exam administration only if your request is submitted at least two weeks before the exam for which you have registered begins, and you will be charged a rescheduling fee of $100.
12. What is the exam re-take policy if I should fail? If you do not achieve a passing score on the examination, you will have the opportunity to sit for a subsequent exam for a fee of $525.
FAQ’s revised 2/26/13