The American Board of Pathology Questions
If you have questions concerning the application process, the examinations,
verification of certification, or other activities of the American Board of
Pathology, please review the
Booklet of Information,
Instructions for Candidates, and
Helpful Hints for Applicants. Each of these documents can be found on this
Web site. You should also review any instructions that you may have received
with your application. If you do not find the answers to your questions in these
locations, check our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you still need
additional information, e-mail your questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the general nature of your question
(i.e., primary examination, subspecialty examination, license question) in the
subject line so that we can direct your question to the appropriate department.
Where can I find information regarding examination dates, deadlines for
filing, fees, requirements for certification, and other general information?
The Booklet of Information on this Web site contains this information.
Click on Booklet of Information Index on the home page and then click on the
title that you wish to explore. In addition, the Instructions for Candidates
Index contains useful information for applicants for primary certification. The
Voluntary Recertification Contents section contains information regarding
How can I request an application?
All applications are available on this Web site and can be downloaded, completed
using Microsoft Word, and mailed to the ABP. Click on Applications and Forms on
the home page.
When can I submit the application?
Applications should be submitted no more than three months prior to the
application deadline. Applications submitted too far in advance will be
returned. However, if possible, please do not wait until the deadline to submit
What is required regarding medical licensure?
Each applicant must submit a notarized copy of his/her currently valid, full and
unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine or
osteopathy in the United States
or in Canada. Applicants for primary certification who are in the process of
obtaining a medical license may submit their applications for certification, but
they must provide evidence of having passed USMLE Step 3, and a copy of the
application for licensure must be submitted with the application. If the
information is not submitted with the application, the application will not be
processed. If a notarized copy of the currently valid, full and unrestricted
license is not received in the ABP office by the time the examination results
are released, the results will not be released to the applicant, or to anyone,
until such is received.
Applicants for subspecialty certification must submit a notarized copy of their
currently valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine or
osteopathy in the United States or in Canada. Evidence of passing USMLE Step 3
and applying for licensure is not acceptable for subspecialty
My medical license is currently valid but will expire before I receive my
examination results. What do I need to do?
Before examination results are released, you must send a notarized copy of your
renewed license to the ABP office.
When will the examination dates be assigned?
For primary examinations, exact examination date assignments will be sent in
early March to those registered for Spring examinations and in early September
for those registered for Fall examinations, pending notification of board
qualification. The date will not change once assigned.
Some subspecialty examinations may be given on multiple days due to the number
of candidates. Candidates for multiple-day examinations will be notified of this
as soon as possible, and exact dates will be sent no later than six weeks prior
to the examination.
Can I request a date for my examination?
Requests for specific examination dates are not accepted for primary
certification. The dates are assigned once all applications are entered into the
computer system. The system assigns dates.
For subspecialty examinations on multiple days, requests may be made for a
specific day, but it may not be possible to honor all requests.
What can I do if my examination date is not acceptable?
For primary certification, if the date is not acceptable, applicants for primary
certification have four weeks from the date of the notification letter to cancel
and transfer the application and fee to the next examination session for which
the applicant qualifies. The initial request for transfer of examination dates
are assessed $250. There will be a $500 fee assessed for any additional transfer
of examination dates. Transfers cannot be made within the same sessions, and
dates cannot be exchanged with other candidates.
For subspecialty certification, there is no opportunity to cancel the date after
the filing deadline without forfeiture of the fee, unless there is verified
illness at the time of the examination.
When will my application be processed?
Applications are processed in order of date received until date assignments have
been made. Once the examination date is assigned, the applications are processed
in order of date assigned.