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Subspecialty certification in Dermatopathology is a joint and equal function of the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) and the American Board of Pathology (ABP). Such function will relate to qualifications of candidates, standards of examination, and the form of the certificate. Beginning in 2006, Dermatopathology certificates have a 10-year time limit.

Maintaining subspecialty certification in Dermatopathology is contingent upon maintaining certification in Dermatology.

All candidates applying to sit for this certifying examination must hold a currently valid, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine or osteopathy in the state or province of his/her residence in either the United States or Canada. The candidate may be denied certification if his/her license has been revoked, suspended, restricted, or surrendered in any jurisdiction - or if the candidate is subject to adverse licensure proceedings.

All candidates for this certification must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Prerequisite
    • Primary certification by either the American Board of Dermatology or the American Board of Pathology (anatomic pathology or anatomic and clinical pathology), and the satisfactory completion of one year of training in dermatopathology in a program accredited for such training (see below) by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Effective July 1, 2011, four months of the one year program will be devoted entirely to dermatopathology, while for the remaining eight months, 50% of each day (averaged over one week) will be devoted to education in either anatomic pathology or clinical dermatology, depending upon the fellow's background. The other 50% of that eight month time period will, of course, be devoted to dermatopathology.
  • Training
    Accredited institutional training programs in dermatopathology are an equal and joint function of the Departments of Dermatology and Pathology of that institution. Training programs in dermatopathology are reviewed and accredited by the Residency Review Subcommittee for Dermatopathology, which includes three members from the Residency Review Committee for Dermatology and three members from the Residency Review Committee for Pathology. Upon recommendation by this subcommittee, training programs in dermatopathology are accredited by conjoint action of the Residency Review Committees for Dermatology and Pathology acting with authority delegated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Information concerning accredited dermatopathology training programs may be found in the AMA Graduate Medical Education Directory or at www.acgme.org. It is the responsibility of directors of fellowships in Dermatopathology to make certain that their trainees file a preliminary registration form in the Board office by August 1st or within 30 days of the start of training.

  • Leave of Absence Policy for American Board of Dermatology Subspecialty Fellowship Training
    1. In general, high priority should be given to completing 12 continuous months of full time training.
    2. Any departure from (1), for example time lost for a medical leave of absence, should be documented and fully justified in the trainee evaluation forms filed by the training program director with the Board.
    3. It is necessary that 11 months of training are completed in order to qualify for subspecialty certification. Thus, without exception, any absence (inclusive of vacation) resulting in less than 11 months of training during a 12-month program will require an additional period of training to achieve 11 total months. Only when this requirement is documented by the program director will the trainee be qualified to take the subspecialty certifying examination. If the program director anticipates that this additional training will be completed in a satisfactory manner before September 1, the Board may allow the trainee to take the certifying examination in that year.
  • Examination - Deadline for Application and Date of Examination
    Candidates who have satisfied the above requirements are eligible to apply to the Board to take the examination for subspecialty certification in Dermatopathology, which is a comprehensive assessment of the candidates' knowledge of dermatopathology, including the related basic sciences, and laboratory and clinical areas pertaining to this discipline.

    Dermatologist candidates planning to take the subspecialty certification examination must complete the online application by logging in above with their username and password. (Call the ABD office at 313-874-1088 for your username and password.) The deadline for receipt of applications is May 15th of the year in which the candidate plans to take the examination. The examination (which is an 8 hour single-day exam) will be given on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. The fee for the examination is $1,800. The fee can be paid online by credit card (the Board accepts American Express, MasterCard and VISA) or a check can be mailed to the Board office. Attached to the building housing the test facility is the InterContinental Hotel Tampa (4860 West Kennedy Blvd). Reservations can be made by calling 800-235-4670 or 813-286-4400. Another hotel option (approximately 6-8 blocks away), at the opposite side of the WestShore Plaza, is the Embassy Suites Tampa - Airport/Westshore (813-875-1555). 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.

  • Appeals Process
    An appeals procedure similar to that described for the certification process in dermatology is available for candidates for subspecialty certification in Dermatopathology who were declared ineligible by the Board for Dermatopathology or who failed the Dermatopathology examination. Candidates submitting such appeals should contact the Board for current additional information.
  • Maintenance of Certification
    Certification in Dermatopathology is time-limited for 10 years. When a candidate is certified in Dermatopathology, he/she will enter into Maintenance of Certification for the 10-year period. See the Maintenance of Certification requirements
  • Individuals who successfully complete an ABD certifying, subspecialty, or recertification/MOC examination will automatically receive the AMA PRA Category 1 CME award (60 credits) via email from the AMA courtesy of the ABD.