Initial Certification

To become board certified in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine one must complete a ONMM postdoctoral residency and qualify for the AOBNMM standards, and pass the written, oral and practical components of the AOBNMM certification exam.

Residency Training

The AOA’s Council on Postdoctoral Training authorizes residency training in the recognized specialty of neuromusculoskeletal medicine/osteopathic manipulative medicine (NMM/OMM) and Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (ONMM). Specialty training programs for NMM/OMM & ONMM consist of five types, all of which have the ability to prepare the physician to be board eligible.

  1. Two-year program in neuromusculoskeletal medicine/osteopathic manipulative medicine (NMM/OMM);
  2. One-year (PLUS-ONE) program in neuromusculoskeletal medicine/osteopathic manipulative medicine (NMM/OMM) following completion of an AOA approved residency in another discipline, and
  3. Integrated four-year program in family medicine and neuromusculoskeletal medicine/osteopathic manipulative medicine (Integrated FM /NMM)
  4. Integrated four-year program in internal medicine and neuromusculoskeletal medicine/osteopathic manipulative medicine (Integrated IM /NMM)
  5. ACGME & ACGME/AOA accredited program in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (ONMM).

Board Eligibility

Definition: On the day the contract ends with his/her training program, an osteopathic physician is eligible and qualified to become certified.   However, they must officially be deemed “Complete”  by the AAO’s Postdoctoral Standards and Education Committee.  Please Note:  Residency is not eligible for review until all required paperwork is submitted and reviewed by the AAO’s Postdoctoral Standards and Education Committee (PS&E).  If approved as  “Complete”, that approval has to be acknowledged by the AOA for them to be eligible to actually sit for the certification exam. 

Termination of Board Eligibility

  1. Board eligible status shall terminate on December 31st of the sixth year following the contract end of the training program.
  2. In view of a candidate’s right to appeal the results of a failed examination, Board eligibility shall not be terminated due to failure of examination until the appeal is complete.
  3. If a candidate does not initiate examination within the period of Board eligibility, then Board eligibility status will be automatically lost and so recorded by the AOA and appropriate Specialty Certifying Board.

Re-Entry Process

  1. At the end of six years of Board eligibility, if the candidate has not obtained final certification, the candidate may petition the Board to re-enter the certification process. On being granted the ability to re-enter the certification process, the candidate will have two attempts to pass each step of the examination process. If unsuccessful on a given administration, the candidate must participate in the next available examination administration.
  2. After exhausting the above process the candidate is not eligible to continue the certification process.
  3. In order for a candidate to be eligible to re-enter the certification process, a candidate must re-petition the board. The board will establish criteria that must be met prior to granting re-entry, approved by the Standards Review Committee (SRC) of the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS). Upon approval, the applicant will follow the same process as outlined above. If the candidate is unsuccessful in this attempt, there will be no further opportunities to become certified.
  4. A Specialty Certifying Board may have more stringent requirements in the limitation of time in which a candidate for certification must complete the entire process, to be published in its Basic Documents.
  5. Re-entry into the certification process does not re-establish “board eligibility”.

Other Information

Please note that making payment for the exam and submitting your application does not qualify you to sit for the exam. You are not complete and approved to sit until you have received verification from AOBNMM staff directly and you have signed and returned the AOBNMM Intent to Sit form.

PLEASE NOTE:  The AOBNMM complies with the American Disability Act regulations. Therefore, if a candidate has a special need, he/she must notify the Board at the time of application.

The Policy of the Board requires that a candidate provide written documentation of their need for any specific disabilities, cautions, restrictions, or limitations regarding any aspect of the examination process. Written notification is required at least 90 days (August 1, for the Fall exam, December 1, for the Spring exam) prior to the examination date. (Existing physical disabilities should be identified at the time of application.). Please direct any request for accommodations to Angi Beranek at AOBNMM@osteopathic.org.

Applicants must provide, in writing, a request for exemption from any reciprocal treatment, such as HVLA or any particular treatment model, during the practical portion of the Boards examination. The applicant must provide documentation, from a treating physician, the medical reasons for being excused, the types of treatment to be avoided and the areas of the body not to be treated. Exemption from treatment to unnamed body regions will not be acceptable during this portion of the Boards examination. The candidate will be required, at his/her own expense, to provide a surrogate to replace the candidate during the practical examination for the particular treatment. However, the Board must receive notification of the use of a surrogate prior to the examination date.

Candidates apply online for the exam.  The application includes a ($200.00) application fee and one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) exam fee . Application may be made at any time but will be considered in the next appropriate cycle once approval is given by the Credentials Committee of the Board. Applications must be received by September 1st for the fall examination. All requirements must be met at the time of application.

Important Information for Residents:  In order to become certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine, the applicant MUST be in a residency-complete status. In order for a resident to obtain a residency-complete status, the following information must be submitted to the AAO’s Postdoctoral Standards and Evaluation Committee of the American Academy of Osteopathy within 30 days of the last day of their residency:

  1. Some type of scholarly activity
  2. Resident’s Report form with Resident’s logs, reading list, list of lectures,workshops etc. included (this is submitted annually at year end)
  3. Program director’s report. (this is submitted annually at year end)

This information is to be sent to Amber Rausch. It is preferred that it be sent via email, but will be accepted if sent via fax (317) 879-0563 or mailed hard copy. The AOBNMM suggests the applicant contact their program director and work together to make sure the applicant’s file is in order and submitted by the deadline.

The AOBNMM shall establish individual eligibility of the candidate for examinations; and a written, oral and a practical examination will be required of each applicant. Examinations will be given at a time and place determined by the Board. The expenses incurred by the candidate are the candidate’s responsibility.

Important:  An applicant who does not sit for the NMM/OMM board exams in the fall following the completion of his/her residency training will be required to submit a CME report showing 50 hours of continuing medical education (CME) per year; of those 17 hours must be in NMM/OMM approved CME, as determined by the AOBNMM Credentials Review Committee.

Appropriate Attire

The Board specifically recommends proper attire for the practical examination session as being: shorts and T-shirts or gym clothes, and active wear (sweats), which will be loose and comfortable and allows for freedom of manipulation. SPANDEX is NOT recommended nor is any clothing requiring large belts/buckles etc. including denim jeans. You will be asked to remove your shoes, watches and jewelry during the practical examination.