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Frequently Asked Questions

Hospice and Palliative Medicine: Physician Credentialing - Webconference

January 30, 2012

1 - 2:30 p.m.

This Webconference is for HANYS members only

The eligibility requirements for physicians to sit for the hospice and palliative board certification exam were changed and, as a result, an important deadline is approaching this year marking the end of a five-year “grandfathering” period.

October 4, 2012 is the date of the last American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) examination before new requirements take effect, including a one-year fellowship for exam eligibility going forward.

After this examination date, ABMS will require physicians to complete a 12-month fellowship training program in hospice and palliative medicine before they may sit for the examination.


Following recognition of the hospice and palliative medicine specialty in 2006, ABMS and the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (the organizations that formally recognize the allopathic and osteopathic specialties and confer subspecialty status in the United States) confirmed a five-year “grandfathering” period offering a direct pathway for physicians already working in the field with clinical competence to obtain subspecialty certification without having to complete a 12-month fellowship. During this period, physicians who meet the required number of clinical hours and interdisciplinary team involvement may take the certification exam to become certified in hospice and palliative medicine.

ABMS approved the creation of hospice and palliative medicine as a subspecialty of ten co-sponsoring boards in 2006. These include the American Boards of Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry and Neurology, Radiology, and Surgery. The certification examination is administered to candidates from all boards at the same time in the same testing centers. ABMS is responsible for administrating the examination.

ABMS scheduled its third and final exam opportunity during the grandfathering period for October 4, 2012.

AOA scheduled its final Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) exam (for Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine) during its grandfathering period for fall 2013.

After these examinations, both organizations will require physicians to complete a 12-month fellowship training program in hospice and palliative medicine before they may sit for the examination, which will be offered every other year (e.g. ABMS, 2014, 2016; AOA, 2015, 2017).

Who should attend

  • CEO (hospital/health system & nursing home)
  • Palliative Care Director and Professional
  • CMO (hospital/health system & nursing home)
  • Medical Staff Professional
  • Staff Development/Education

What will you learn

Participants will learn about the requirements to be eligible to sit for the October 2012 exam for Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and will have the opportunity to participate in the Q & A Session.


Timothy E. Quill, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Medical Humanities
Center for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care
University of Rochester School of Medicine

R. Sean Morrison, M.D.
Director, National Palliative Care Research Center
Director, Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute
Hermann Merkin Professor of Palliative Care
Professor of Geriatrics and Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Paul E. Heasley, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
The Community Hospice, Rensselaer


The deadline to register for this program is January 25. Login instructions and program materials will be e-mailed to registrants on January 26.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Christopher Guyon at cguyon@hanys.org or at (518) 431-7834.

If you have any questions regarding the presentation, please contact Molly Poleto at (518) 431-7901.

Continuing education credits

There are no continuing education credits offered with this program.

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