Subspecialty Certification

ABIM to Offer Hospice and Palliative Medicine Certification Exam Annually Beginning in 2024

As the field of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) continues to grow, ABIM will begin offering the Certification Exam in this discipline annually starting in 2024.

“We are very pleased to make this announcement, which signals an exciting period of progress for the field of hospice and palliative medicine,” says Laura Dingfield, MD, MSEd, FAAHPM, Chair of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Advisory Committee, which is composed of leaders in HPM from each of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member boards that cosponsor the discipline. “Offering the initial Certification Exam annually expands access for physicians entering the HPM workforce, and ensures that greater numbers of patients also will have access to board certified physicians who have made the commitment to keeping their knowledge of the field current.”

ABIM closely monitors trends across all specialties, and uses these data to inform how often to offer assessments in a given discipline. Offering the HPM Certification Exam annually is an important development for the field, which has seen a sustained influx of diplomates since the first Certification Exam was administered in 2008.

“I applaud the move to an annual initial certification exam for Hospice and Palliative Medicine as it will help our newly graduating fellows become board certified without delay,” says Holly Yang, MD, HMDC, FACP, FAAHPM, President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Board of Directors. “It is a very welcome change and recognizes the growth of our field, as HPM was the fifth largest subspecialty by number of filled positions in the fellowship match in both 2021 and 2022.”

The number of physicians taking the initial HPM Certification Exam more than doubled between 2010 and 2012, and has remained steady at between 250 and 300 physicians each year the exam has been offered since then. A similar trend has been seen in physicians certified by other member boards of ABMS; these include the American Board of Anesthesiology, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics, which together with ABIM comprise the cosponsoring boards of the HPM Advisory Committee.

Diplomates from another five Qualifying Boards may become certified in HPM through ABIM. More than 600 diplomates certified by these member boards have completed the HPM Certification Exam through ABIM each year it has been offered since 2014, with significant growth in the last two exam years (2020 and 2022).

Enrollment for all ABIM Certification and Maintenance of Certification assessments opens December 1. To register or check for any upcoming deadlines, please sign into your personalized ABIM Physician Portal. The next HPM Certification Exam is November 6, 2024, and registration opens December 1, 2023; visit for more information.

Article originally produced and published by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Originally Published: July 24, 2023