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Information for the Subspecialty Certification Program in Gastroenterology

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

Certification in Gastroenterology 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 Gastroenterology(two years of training required if completed prior to September 1, 2002).
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 Gastroenterology Subspecialty Examination will cover the broad aspects of gastroenterology that internists practicing in gastroenterology are expected to know. The major emphasis in this examination will be:

GI physiology and pathophysiology; inflammatory diseases of the GI tract, pancreas and liver; infectious diseases of the GI tract, including hepatitis and AIDS; nutritional diseases affecting the GI tract and liver; vascular diseases of the GI tract; upper and lower GI hemorrhage; clinical use and application as well as findings of upper and lower GI endoscopy, ERCP and ERS; physical diagnostic findings; drugs and the GI tract; laboratory diagnosis and microscopic pathology of GI tract, pancreas and liver; neoplasia and the GI tract, pancreas and liver; and treatment of GI disorders.

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:

Tissue biopsies of the liver and large and small bowel; upper and lower endoscopy findings; GI x-rays, including ERCP; CT scans of abdomen; techniques of GI endoscopy; and physical diagnostic findings.

Gastroenterology Blueprint

Content Area % on the Exam
Disorders of the esophagus 8
Disorders of the stomach 5
Disorders of the duodenum 8
GI hemorrhage 2
Disorders of the small bowel 3
Disorders of the colon 20
Disorders of the peritoneum, Mesentery and omentum 4
GI endocrinology 3
Disorders of the gallbladder/Bile ducts 8
Disorders of the pancreas 9
Nutrition 5
Pancreatic endocrine tumors 2
Functional GI disorders 3
Liver transplantation 1
Acute and chronic viral hepatitis 5
Infections of the liver 3
Hepatic tumors 3
Inherited and metabolic Disorders of the liver 2
Cirrhosis/Hepatic encephalopathy 3
Toxic/Drug-induced liver disease 3
Total 100%

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