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Information for the Subspecialty Certification Program in Interventional Cardiology

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


The Interventional Cardiology Examination program for Certification of Added Qualifications is developed by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine for certified cardiologists. This program is designed to recognize excellence among physicians who are specialists in Interventional Cardiology.

This information booklet has been prepared by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine for use by its Diplomates who are applying for examination in Interventional Cardiology. 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 Interventional Cardiology. This substantiation must be provided by the program director in the Interventional Cardiology fellowship.


Internists must be certified in internal medicine and cardiology by the AOA through the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine and have training in the field of Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. An applicant may be approved for examination, by completing the training requirements listed below:

Three years of AOA approved subspecialty training in cardiology followed by one year of training in Interventional Cardiology. The Interventional Cardiology training must occur in 1997 or later and must be in an AOA or ACGME accredited cardiology training program. The trainee must have participated in a total case volume of a minimum of 300 cardiac interventional procedures and serve as the primary operator in a minimum of 200 of these cases attested to by the training program director. The training program director must also judge the clinical skill, judgement and technical expertise of the candidate.


The date of the Interventional Cardiology Examination is August 20, 2016. A letter requesting to sit for the Examination must be submitted to this Board during the registration period, which will begin October 1, 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 registration 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 application/examination fee will be $700, which must be submitted no later than April 1, 2016. There is a nonrefundable fee of $100 for withdrawals prior to April 1 and $400 for withdrawals between April 1, 2016 and May 1, 2016. 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 Application Instructions.

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 Interventional Cardiology Examination will cover the broad aspects of Interventional Cardiology that cardiologists are expected to know. The examination will assess the candidates knowledge and clinical judgment in aspects of Interventional Cardiology required to perform at a high level of competence. The examination will include but will not be restricted to:

Case selection decisions such as indications for angioplasty and related catheter-based interventions in management of ischemic heart disease, including factors that differentiate patients who require interventional procedures rather than coronary artery bypass surgery or medical therapy, indications for urgent catheterization in management of acute myocardial infarction, including factors that differentiate patients who require angioplasty, intracoronary thrombolysis, or coronary artery bypass surgery, indications for mitral, aortic, and pulmonary valvuloplasty in management of valvular disorders, including factors that differentiate patients who require surgical commissurotomy or valve repair or replacement, indications for catheter-based interventions in management of congenital heart disease in adults, indications for interventional approaches to management of hemodynamic compromise in patients who have acute coronary symptoms, including the use of pharmacologic agents, balloon counterpulsation, emergency pacing, and stent placement; procedural techniques such as planning and execution of interventional procedures, including knowledge of options, limitations, outcomes, and complications as well as alternatives to be used if an initial approach fails, selection and use of guiding catheters, guidewires, balloon catheters, and other FDA-approved interventional devices, including atherectomy devices and coronary stents, knowledge of intravascular catheter techniques and their risks, use of antithrombotic agents in interventional procedures, management of hemorrhagic complications; basic science knowledge such as vascular biology, including the processes of plaque formation, vascular injury, vasoreactivity, vascular healing, and restenosis, hematology, including the clotting cascade, platelet function, thrombolysis, and methods of altering clot formation, coronary anatomy and physiology, including angiographic data such as distribution of vascular segments, lesion characteristics, and their importance in interventions, alterations in coronary flow due to obstructions in vessels, the assessment and effect of flow dynamics on myocardial perfusion, the function of collateral circulation, and the effect of arterial spasm or microembolization on coronary flow; pharmacologic principles such as biologic effects and appropriate use of vasoactive drugs, antiplatelet agents, thrombolytics, anticoagulants, and antiarrhythmics, biologic effects and appropriate use of angiographic contrast agents; imaging techniques such as specific applications of imaging to interventional cardiology, including identification of anatomic features and visualization of lesion morphology by angiography and intravascular ultrasonography, radiation physics, radiation risks and injury, and radiation safety, including methods to control radiation exposure for patients, physicians, and technicians; and miscellaneous topics such as ethical issues and risks associated with diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, statistics, epidemiologic data, and economic issues related to interventional procedures.


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 Interventional Cardiology by this Board. All certificates will be time-limited and will be valid for ten (10) years from the date of certification. The diplomate must maintain a valid cardiology subspecialty certificate by this Board in order for the certificate of Added Qualifications in Interventional Cardiology to remain valid. The Interventional Cardiology Certificate will become invalid the date that the diplomate's cardiology subspecialty certificate becomes invalid. The certificate of Added Qualifications in Interventional Cardiology will be awarded after the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists gives final approval of the examina- tion process for each can¬didate. This approval process will take approximately six months following the notification of successful completion of the examina¬tion. On written request and payment of a fee of $100, can¬didates may obtain res¬coring of the examination within a year of receiving the results. The answer sheets of candidates will be destroyed thirty-six months after ad¬ministration of the examination.


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

Clarification of Procedure Credit for Trainees

Regardless of how many manipulations are performed in any one ‘case’ each case may count as only one procedure. Only one operator may claim credit for a case when multiple operators participate. The operator who claims credit must perform the critical manipulation(s) in the case. The primary operator shall be actively involved in decision making regarding equipment selection, problem solving, post-procedural assessment and complication management.

Interventional Cardiology Blueprint

Content Area % on the Exam
Basic Concepts: Vascular Biology, Coagulation, Anatomy, Physiology 15
Case selection: Acute Coronary Syndrome, Hemodynamic Compromise 9
Case Selection: Chronic ischemic heart disease 7
Case Selection: Valvular disorders, Congenital Heart Disease 6
Case Selection: Peripheral vascular disease 4
Clinical Trials 10
Drug Pharmacology/ Contrast Agents 10
Imaging in Interventional Cardiology 16
Procedural Techniques 15
Miscellaneous 8
Total 100%

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