Eligibility to Apply for the Certifying Exam

A candidate is not considered an "active" candidate until his or her application has been received and approved by the Board. This approval includes a review by the ABD of the application and annual evaluation reports from the candidate’s program director. 

Candidates may take the certifying exam annually during the first five years after the completion of training. During this eligibility window, the resident shall have no more than five exam attempts.

A dermatologist who has not met this requirement may not claim to be "board eligible" unless the American Board of Dermatology determines that the physician has been prevented from taking the examination within the applicable five year period by military deployment or personal catastrophic illness. 


If either of these situations exists, a dermatologist wishing to claim to be "board eligible" or wishing to take the examination after the expiration of the five year period may be granted a time-limited deferral by making application to the Board. The decision to grant or deny a deferral will be at the sole discretion of the Board. This policy also applies to diplomates completing subspecialty fellowships with subspecialty certification examinations.

Contact Us

American Board of Dermatology
2 Wells Avenue
Newton, Massachusetts 02459
Office Hours: Mon-Fri,
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
(617) 910-6400 (Phone/Fax)
Communications@ABDerm.org

Our Mission

To serve the public and profession by setting high standards for dermatologists to earn and maintain Board certification.