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Information for the Subspecialty Certification Program in Hematology

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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 Hematology. The purpose of this document is to provide general information concerning the Hematology Examination and instructions for completing the application.

Certification in Hematology 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 two years of an AOA approved fellowship program in Hematology or combined Hematology/Oncology. All candidates who have completed at least three years of AOA approved training in a Hematology/Oncology program or a total of at least three years in separate Hematology and Oncology programs will be eligible to sit for both subspecialty examinations. Of the 36 months of training a minimum of 12 months must be spent in both hematology and oncology.
B.     Successful performance on a comprehensive, one-day written/clinical examination. If in a three year Hematology/Oncology program, candidates may sit for either the Hematology or Oncology examination at the end of the second year of training.


Internists must be certified by the AOA, through the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine, in internal medicine and complete a 24-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 exam will cover the broad aspects of hematology that hematologists are expected to know. The major emphasis in this examination will be: Hemoglobinopathies and globin synthesis defects; cytogenetics and cytochemistry; bone marrow transplantation; multiple myeloma; amyloidosis; von Willebrand’s disease; thrombocytopenia; hereditary and acquired hypercoagulable states; fibrinolytic therapy; Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; hemolytic anemias; lymphocytic leukemia; hairy cell leukemia; iron deficiency anemia; autoimmune hemolytic anemia; paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria; pure red cell aplasia; polycythemia rubra vera; secondary polycythemia; hemophilia A; anticoagulant therapy; porphyria; methemoglobinemia; ITP; myelodysplasia; acute/chronic leukemias; AIDS; T-cell leukemias/lymphoma; aplastic anemia; Fanconi's anemia; sideroblastic anemia; RBC enzymopathies; hemolytic uremic syndrome; TTP; cold agglutinin disease; hereditary spherocytosis/elliptocytosis; erythropoietin; congenital coagulation defects; sport's anemia; transfusion therapy; hereditary/acquired platelet dysfunction; lymphokines; retroviral induced hematologic disorders; opportunistic pathogens in the immunosuppressed host with hematologic 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: Peripheral blood; bone marrow morphology; cutaneous and visceral manifestations of hematologic disease.

Hematology Blueprint

Content Area % on the Exam
Acute leukemias 7
Chronic leukemias 6
Myeloproliferative diseases 8
Myelodysplastic syndrome 4
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 9
Hodgkin disease 3
Myeloma/plasma cell disorders 5
Coagulation/clotting disorders 18
Normochromic, normocytic anemias 3
Microcytic, hypochromic anemias 3
Megaloblastic/macrocystic anemias 3
Hemolytic anemias 3
Hemoglobinopathies 3
Aplastic anemia, red cell disease 3
Miscellaneous WBC disorders 2
Thrombotic disorders, hypercoagulable states 8
Transfusion medicine/cell biology 6
Infectious disease and hematology/HIV 6
Total 100%

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