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Certifying Examination

Requirements to Apply to Take the Examination

  • To apply, login above with your username and password and then click on “Start” for Application for Certifying Examination under the Forms tab.
  • Application fee: $2,500. Checks or credit cards (American Express, MasterCard, or VISA) are accepted.
  • Application/fee deadline: March 2
  • Required application supporting documentation and other
    1. Copy of currently valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or Canada.
    2. Submission of online final year evaluation form signed by resident and program director.
    3. Program director approval to take the certifying exam.

A memorandum will be sent to program directors to inform residents in their final year of training about the availability of the online application forms. Physicians who complete their residency training in dermatology by July 1 are eligible to apply to take the examination in July of the same year. Under the special conditions described under Guidelines for Determining Adequacy of Clinical Training, candidates completing additional (make-up) training before September 1 may also be eligible to apply to take the certifying examination. It is emphasized that it is the candidate's responsibility to submit a completed application form online if he or she plans to take the certifying examination of the Board. Requests by candidates for special accommodations for the certifying examination must be received in the Board office by March 2nd as well.

About the Examination

When: July 11-14 & 18-21, 2016

Where:American Board of Pathology testing center
4830 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 690
Tampa, FL 33609

What:Since August 2007 the certifying examination in dermatology has been administered in a single day (8 hour exam), comprised of two sections:
  • Examination in Dermatopathology and Virtual Dermatopathology In this section, candidates are questioned on 36 glass histopathologic slides that they examine on microscopes provided by the Board. This section of the examination encompasses the entire spectrum of dermatopathology.

  • Written Multiple Choice Examination in Dermatology: This 300-question section tests the candidate's knowledge of the basic science and clinical aspects of dermatology, including all the related disciplines. Some questions have images associated with them. Among the topics included in this part of the examination are clinical dermatology, pediatric dermatology, preventive dermatology, entomology, epidemiology, dermatopathology, cutaneous allergy and immunology, dermatologic surgery, cutaneous oncology, sexually transmitted diseases, internal medicine as it pertains to dermatology, medical ethics, photobiology and cutaneous microbiology as well as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, physical therapy, pharmacology, genetics, and electron microscopy as related to dermatology. Considerable emphasis is placed on comprehensive knowledge of the literature.

      • Examples of the types of images used include photographs of patients, diagrams and illustrative drawings and pictures of histopathologic sections, bacterial cultures, Tzanck preparations, skin scrapings and smears, histochemical and fluorescent photo-micrographs, electron micrographs, drawings or photographs of organisms, including viruses, rickettsiae, bacteria and parasites that affect the skin.
      • Candidates must answer multiple choice type questions covering dermatologic surgical areas including, but not limited to, Mohs micrographic surgery, anesthesia, hair transplantation, lasers, dermabrasion, sclerotherapy, liposuction, chemical peels, tissue augmentation, and anatomy as it relates to dermatologic surgery.
      • For the 2015 certifying examination, the content distribution is as follows: basic science, 10%; dermatopathology, 18%; general dermatology, 41%; pediatric dermatology, 11%; and surgical dermatology, 19%.

The results of the examination are reported as a single Pass/Fail score. Unsuccessful candidates will be required to repeat the entire examination. Notification of performance on the examination will be emailed to candidates approximately 6-8 weeks following the final day of the examination.

Sample Proctor’s Manual: Click here to read a sample of the ABD’s proctor’s manual, used during the administration of the Certification Exam in Tampa, FL. This guide is provided to offer candidates insight into the exam-day process. If you have any questions concerning the information in this guide, please contact the ABD office.

Hotels:Attached to the building housing the test facility is the InterContinental Hotel Tampa (4860 W. Kennedy Blvd.). Reservations can be made by calling 800-235-4670 or 813-286-4400. A link to the hotel’s reservation booking link is: https://resweb.passkey.com/go/4796bb99.

Another hotel option (approximately 6-8 block away), at the opposite side of the WestShore Plaza, is the Embassy Suites Tampa – Airport/Westshore (813-875-1555).

Airport shuttle:The Tampa International Airport is located approximately 3 miles (10-20 min.) from the ABP testing site. Taxi service is readily available and there is a complimentary airport shuttle to both hotels.

2016 Certifying Examination Date Assignment by State.