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Information for the Subspecialty Certification Program in Cricial Care Medicine

Please see exam information below. Click here to View/Save exam information.


The Critical Care Medicine Examination program for Certification of Added Qualifications is developed by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine for certified internists and subspecialists. This program is designed to recognize excellence among those who provide care to the critically ill.

This information folder has been prepared by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine for use by its Diplomates who are applying for examination in Critical Care Medicine. The program will have two components:

  1. Satisfactory completion of training.

  2. Successful performance on a comprehensive, one-day examination.

Requirement for Licensure

A valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in a state of the United States is required of all candidates. A photocopy of the medical license in the state of the current practice must be submitted with the application. Candidates with restricted, suspended or revoked license in any jurisdiction at the time of application will not be admitted to the examination or be certified.

Substantiation of Clinical Competence

The application must contain substantiation of the Diplomate's satisfactory clinical competence in Critical Care Medicine. This substantiation must be provided by the program director in the Critical Care Medicine fellowship.


Internists must be certified by the AOA, through the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine, in internal medicine and have training in the care of the critically ill patient. An applicant may therefore be approved for examination, by completing the training requirements listed below:

A.     Certification by the AOA in internal medicine and two years of AOA approved training in Critical Care Medicine; or
B.     Certification by the AOA in internal medicine and the subspecialty and one of the following AOA approved fellowship training pathways:

  1. Three years of subspecialty training in cardiology or two years of subspecialty training in pulmonary diseases, nephrology or infectious disease followed by one year of training in critical care medicine, or;

  2. Three years of combined training in infectious disease/critical care medicine, nephrology/critical care medicine or pulmonary diseases/ critical care medicine. At least 12 months of the 36 months of training must include a full-time commitment in an intensive care unit.

C.     Certification in Internal Medicine and five years of training in a combined Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine residency program and one year oF fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine.


The date of the Critical Care Medicine Examination is August 20, 2016. A letter or e-mail requesting to sit for the Examination must be submitted to this Board during the registration period, which will begin October 15, 2015 and end March 15, 2016. The completed application must be submitted in toto no later than April 1, 2016. Any applications postmarked after April 1, 2016, will be assessed a two hundred dollar ($200) late fee. No applications will be accepted after May 1, 2016. All candidates who have submitted their application prior to the deadline date will be notified whether or not they have been admitted to the examination prior to June 1, 2016.


The examination fee will be $700, which must be submitted no later than April 1, 2016. There will be a late fee of $200 for any fees postmarked later than April 1st. There is a nonrefundable cancellation fee of $100 for withdrawals prior to April 1, 2016 and $400 from April 1 to April 30th. No refund is granted for any withdrawal postmarked after May 1, 2016.

Address Changes

Registered candidates must notify the Board office, in writing, of any change in address prior to or after the Certifying Examination. Candidates will be responsible for the cost of payment of a duplicate certificate which has been lost and not returned to the Board, in which the mailing address was not the current updated address of the candidate.

Location and Time of Examination

The examination will be held on the 1st floor of the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Hotel, Lombard , Illinois. The examination session will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 P.M. All candidates must report to the examination room no later than 7:45 a.m.

Hotel Accommodations

A block of rooms (at a special rate of $129.00) has been reserved for the examination candidates. To reserve a room you must call the Westin Hotel at 888-627-9031 and ask for in-house reservations. When speaking to the reservations clerk, indicate that you want to receive the special room rate for the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine group meeting. You must reserve your room by July 15, 2016. It is suggested you guarantee the reservation with a credit card or one night's deposit.

Instructions for Completing the Application Packet

Please read all of the Application Instructions carefully before completing the application form. All of the items on the application form must be filled out completely or your application will not be accepted. All supporting documents to be submitted with the application are clearly delineated on the enclosed instruction sheet for all applicants.

Acknowledgement of Acceptance

All candidates whose applications have been accepted will be notified by June 1, 2016. Each accepted candidate will be issued an examination admission card which is to be retained and submitted to the proctor at the time of the examination.


General Description:

This examination will be a proctored one-day examination consisting of multiple-choice questions of the "one best answer" type. There will be a total of 200 items on the examination. The Critical Care Medicine Examination will cover the broad aspects of Critical Care Medicine that internists practicing in a critical care unit are expected to know. The examination will encompass all the subspecialty areas of internal medicine that are involved in ICU management. Specific areas of emphasis in this examination may include:

Acute renal failure; drug dosing and renal failure; acid-base disorders; electrolyte disturbances; acute chest pain; cardiac arrhythmias; hyperten¬sive crisis; shock; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; angioplasty and thrombolytic therapy; interpretation of hemodynamic parameters; vasopressor and vasodilator therapy and cardio-assist devices; management of early post-cardiac surgical patients; cardiomyopathies and myocarditis; acute aortic and peripheral vascular disease; acute pericardial disease; acute valvular disorders; pulmonary edema; myocardial infarction and complications; respiratory failure; mechanical support of respiration; chest x-ray interpretation in the critical care situation; pulmonary embolism; status asthmaticus; respiratory acid-base disorders; smoke inhalation; burns; flail chest; barotrauma; bronchopulmonary infections; airway obstruc¬tion; pulmonary function tests; oxygen therapy; airway maintenance; hemoptysis; bronchiolitis; principles of hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis; urinary tract bleeding; poisonings; acute loss of consciousness; traumatic injuries to the central nervous system; CNS resuscitation; trauma management; abdominal trauma; chest trauma; orthopedic trauma; genitourinary trauma; upper airway trauma; transport of the critically ill; seizure disorders; psychiatric emergencies; nutrition; endocrinologic emergencies; acute gastrointestinal bleeding; acute pancreatitis; hepatic failure; toxic megacolon; perforations of the GI tract; ruptured esophagus; intestinal ischemia; acute inflammatory diseases of the intestine; septicemia; acute coagulation defects; anticoagulation and fibrinolytic therapy; principles and complications of blood component therapy; acute hemolytic disorders; acute disorders of the immune suppressed patient; sickle cell crisis; plasmapheresis; acute syndromes associated with neoplastic disease; obstructive uropathy; serious complications of pregnancy; crush injuries; perioperative problems and anesthetic complications; pharmacokinetics of drugs and critical illness; body temperature dis¬turbances; multiorgan failure; host defense mechanisms; emotional concerns and ethical issues; monitoring, bioengineering and biostatistics in the critical care unit; psychosocial aspects of critical care medicine; and administrative and management principles and techniques in the critical care unit.

Clinical situations involving diagnosis, cause, prognosis and natural history of disease and treatment will be stres¬sed in the above disorders. There may be clinically oriented questions with case history data included. In some of these histories, the candidate may be asked to interpret visual material such as physiological data, electrocardiograms, and imaging studies used in caring for critically ill patients.


The candidates will be informed of the results of the examination within 60 days following the examination date. Those who passed the examination will receive a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Critical Care Medicine by this Board. This Certificate will be awarded after the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists gives final approval of the examination process for each candidate. This approval process will take ap¬proximately six months following the notification of successful completion of the examination. On written request and payment of a fee of $75, candidates may obtain rescoring of the examination within a year of receiving the results. The answer sheets of candidates will be destroyed thirty-six months after administration of the examination. Examination booklets are destroyed immediately after the scanner answer sheet scoring results are submitted to the Board. Answer sheets only and not examination booklets will be used for the candidate scoring results.


The Board can make no specific recommendation about study methods, review courses, etc., to prepare for the examination; however, extensive self study of Critical Care Medicine in texts and journals and par¬ticipation in con¬tinuing medical education programs and review courses in Critical Care Medicine should be useful.

Cricial Care Medicine Blueprint

Content Area % on the Exam
Acute cardiovascular disorders 10
Heart failure/pulmonary edema 6
Hypertensive crisis 2
Shock 6
CPR/Hemodynamic parameters 4
Acute pulmonary disorders 10
Ventilatory management 7
Renal/Electrolyte/Acid-Base 7
Acute gastrointestinal disorders 5
Nutrition 3
Infectious disease/sepsis 7
Endocrine emergencies 4
Acute neurologic disorders 5
Trauma management 2
Psychiatric emergencies 2
Acute hematologic disorders/anticoagulation 2
Acute neoplastic disorders 2
Complications of pregnancy 1
Temperature disorders 2
Perioperative/anesthetic complications 2
Anaphylaxsis/allergic disorders 3
Ethics/Psycho-social issues 2
Administrative management in ICU 2
Miscellaneous 4
Total 100%

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