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Information for the Subspecialty Certification Program in Pulmonary Diseases

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

Certification in Pulmonary Diseases 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 Pulmonary Diseases or combined Pulmonary Diseases/Critical Care Medicine.
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 Pulmonary Diseases Subspecialty Examination will cover the broad aspects of pulmonary diseases that internists practicing in pulmonary diseases are expected to know. The major emphasis in this examination will be:

Respiratory physiology; pulmonary function studies; pulmonary exercise testing; pharmacology; pathology; diagnosis, pathophysiology and therapy of obstructive and restrictive pulmonary diseases; circulation (pulmonary hypertension and disease states); sleep disorders; respiratory infections including those related to HIV infection, occupational lung disorders, lung neoplasms, critical care management and diagnosis decisions.

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:

Pulmonary pathology slides; chest x-rays; lung scans; CT scans of thorax; physical exam signs; pulmonary arteriograms; pulmonary function studies; and polysomnography fragments.

Pulmonary Diseases Blueprint

Content Area % on the Exam
Respiratory structure and function 4
Asthma 5
Chronic bronchitis and emphysema 6
Sleep disorders 5
Bronchiectasis/cystic fibrosis 1
Interstitial lung disease 12
Pneumonia/Pulmonary infections 12
Tuberculosis 2
Benign/malignant neoplasms 8
Occupational disorders 4
Sarcoidosis 3
Lung abscess 1
Physical, chemical, and aspiration injuries 3
Disorders of diaphragm, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum 4
Disorders of ventilatory control 2
Pulmonary hypertension/vascular disorders 4
Interpretation imaging studies/pathologic specimens 3
Interpretation PFTs 3
ARDS/Respiratory failure 9
ICU Management/Ventilatory Care 6
Total 100%

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