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Information for the Subspecialty Certification Program in Nephrology

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

Certification in Nephrology 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 Nephrology.
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 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 Nephrology Subspecialty Examination will cover the broad aspects of nephrology that internists practicing in nephrology are expected to know. The major emphasis in this examination will be:

Renal physiology and pathophysiology, fluid and electrolyte disorders, acid-base disorders, glomerular disease, tubulointerstitial disease, urolithiasis, obstructive nephropathy and uropathy, familial and cystic disease of the kidney, acute renal failure, chronic renal failure, hypertension, peritoneal and hemodialysis, transplantation, pregnancy and the kidney.

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:

Urinalyses, imaging techniques (e.g., standard x-rays, IVPs, arteriograms, ultrasounds, etc.), renal biopsies, physical examination signs, gross pathological specimens.

Nephrology Blueprint

Content Area % on the Exam
Fluid, Acid-Base, Electrolyte Physiology/Renal function testing 4
Mineral metabolism/disorders(PO4, Ca, Mg) 4
Hypo/Hypernatremia 4
Hypo/Hyperkalemia 3
Acid-base disorders/Renal tubular disorders 10
Acute kidney injury 9
Pregnancy and the kidney 1
Overdose/Toxic nephropathy/Intoxication 3
Primary glomerular disease 7
Secondary glomerular disease 6
Diabetic nephropathy 4
Hypertension 5
Chronic kidney disease 5
Peritoneal dialysis 5
Hemodialysis 8
Renal transplantation 5
Vasculitis/Vascular disorders of kidney 3
Tubulointerstitial disease 3
Urolithiasis 1
Obstructive uropathy 1
Urinary tract infections/Pyelonephritis 2
Cystic disease/UT anomalies 4
Familial disorders of kidney 3
Total 100%

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