By Brianna Eisaman, PGY-3

Since the start of my residency training, I’ve been puzzled by which board examination to take. Due to the single accreditation system, I assumed by 2020 that all DO residents would be sitting for the ABFM board certification and that the AOBFP would eventually dissolve. Over the past few months, I’ve learned this is not the case and I’ve come to realize the significance of maintaining the AOBFP presence. I have decided to apply for the early entry initial certification test (EEIC) for reasons outlined below.

The ability to take your certification exam earlier than in the past will allow residents to better focus on their job search and attract employers. Applying for a position after becoming board certified distinguishes one’s resume from other candidates.

The reduced cost of the exam is appealing given the common student loan burden. Further, there is an outstanding grant from the ACOFP Education and Research Foundation for residents who choose to take the written and practical OMT exams. Each resident who is eligible will receive up to $1400 in reimbursement, covering the cost of the exam and travel fees. Additionally, the AOBFP is offering discounted modules for the first cycle of osteopathic continuing certification (CME credit). This makes certification through the AOBFP a highly valuable option for graduating residents with student loan debt.

Finally, taking the AOBFP board certification supports and maintains distinction of the osteopathic profession. By supporting the AOBFP, we are endorsing advocacy for and protection of the distinct elements of the osteopathic profession. With taking the OMT practical in addition to the written exam, one will be “safe” from the possibility that OMT reimbursement in the future will be only to those who are board certified in the practice. There are no current plans for discontinuation of the AOBFP written certification exam or OMT practical.

I encourage DO family medicine residents to consider taking the EEIC. For more information and to apply, please visit the AOBFP website

The EEIC application is open now until October 31, 2020, for $400. It will remain open until December 15, 2020 for $500.

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