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Information for the Subspecialty Certification Program in Cardiology

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

This information sheet has been produced by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine for use by Diplomates who are applying for certification in Cardiology. The purpose of this document is to provide general information concerning the Cardiology Examination and instructions for completing the application.

Certification in Cardiology is a program for certified internal medicine specialists, designed to recognize excellence among those who provide care in this subspecialty field. The program has two components:

A.     Satisfactory completion of three years of an AOA approved fellowship program in Cardiology. Two years of cardiology subspecialty training is acceptable if completed prior to September 1, 1993.
B.     Successful performance on a comprehensive, one-day written/clinical examination.


Internists must be certified by the AOA, through the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine, in internal medicine and complete a 36-month AOA approved program in the subspecialty. The following documents must be submitted with the application:
A.     Copy of the fellowship training certificate(Must be submitted by August 1);
B.     Completion of the Program Director's report form by the subspecialty Program Director;
C.     ACOI/AOA approval of the subspecialty training must be verified before certification is completed. If you have received a letter from the ACOI or AOA stating your "Program is Complete" enclose a copy of that letter with your application.

General Description:

This examination will be a proctored one-day examination consisting of multiple-choice questions of the "one best answer" type and matching type items. There will be a total of 300 items on the examination. The Cardiology Subspecialty Examination will cover the broad aspects of cardiology that internists practicing in cardiology are expected to know. The major emphasis in this examination will be:

Didactic and patient case oriented questions concerning physical diagnosis, pharmacology, electrocardiography, echocardiography, doppler echocardiography, chest x-ray interpretation, cardiac catheterization data interpretation, hypertensive heart disease, valvular heart disease, ischemic heart disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathies, infectious heart disease, pericardial disease, pulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular surgery and peripheral arterial disease.

Clinical situations involving diagnosis, etiology, prognosis and natural history of the disease, and management will be stressed. There will be clinically oriented questions with case history data included. In some of these case histories you may be asked to interpret visual material printed in the examination, which may include:

Interpretation of electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, doppler studies, chest x-rays, cardiac catheterization data, gross pathologic specimens, myocardial histology and physical examination findings.

Cardiology Blueprint

Content Area % on the Exam
Basic CV principles (anatomy, genetics) 2
Cardiovascular physiology/dynamics 3
Myocardial infarction 6
Ischemic heart disease 7
Heart failure 7
Cardiomyopathy 11
Valvular disease 14
Pulmonary hypertension 5
Congenital heart disease 4
Arrhythmias and cardiac rhythm management devices 15
Aortic/peripheral vascular disease 8
Pericardial disease 3
Endocarditis/Rheumatic fever 1
Tumors of the heart 1
Cardiac drug pharmacology 6
Lipid disorders 3
Hypertension 2
Miscellaneous 2
Total 100%

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