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Initial Certification
Taking the Sports Medicine Exam

About the Sports Medicine Exam

NOTE: This ABIM exam is administered by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). The exam lasts four hours.

Follow these procedures when registering to take the Sports Medicine Certification exam:

  • You will register by completing and submitting an application form online at ABIM's Physician Login page during the registration period.
  • A confirmation page number will appear, indicating that you are successfully registered. The confirmation page also will provide you with a confirmation number, which is proof that your application has been transmitted to ABIM. You should print and keep a copy of this page for your records.
  • Shortly after your application has been submitted, ABIM will forward your information to the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). ABFM will communicate with you explaining how to schedule a testing location and exam with the ABFM computer testing administrator.
  • Contact the American Board of Family Medicine for information about test center locations and changing exam dates.

Key Exam Dates

Standard Exam Dates

Exam Date Options Registration Dates Late Registration Dates*
* Requires a non-refundable fee
2016: July 13-16, 2016 Dec. 1, 2015 through Feb. 15, 2016 Feb. 16, 2016 through Mar. 1, 2016


  • Deadline for cancellation is 11:59 p.m. ET two (2) days prior to scheduled examination date. (Example: For exams scheduled Thursday, October 9, 2014, the cancellation deadline would be 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 7, 2014.) See Refund Policy.
  • It is the candidate's responsibility to be aware of and comply with registration deadlines. In fairness to all candidates, ABIM adheres firmly to its published deadlines for registration and late registration for its exams. Candidates are encouraged to apply early in the registration period.
  • All dates are subject to change.
  • To change a scheduled exam date, see Change or Cancel an Exam.
  • Exam results will be released within three months of the exam date.

Exam Content and Blueprint

Sports Medicine Exam Blueprint

The practice of sports medicine is the application of the physician's knowledge, skills, and attitudes for all persons engaged in sports and exercise.

The current description of the exam may be found on the American Board of Family Medicine website. To view it:

Exam Background

The Sports Medicine Certification Program, jointly developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the American Board of Family Medicine, and the American Board of Pediatrics, is designed to recognize excellence among those with special expertise in this field. The requirements for all Boards are similar. The examination will be administered to candidates from all four boards at the same time in the same testing centers. The American Board of Family Medicine is responsible for administering the exam. The standard for passing the exam will be identical for all Boards.

Copyright and Examination Non-Disclosure Policy

All ABIM materials are protected by the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. Access to all such materials, as further detailed below, is strictly conditioned upon agreement to abide by ABIM's rights under the Copyright Act and to maintain examination confidentiality.

ABIM examinations are confidential, in addition to being protected by federal copyright and trade secret laws. Candidates and diplomates who undertake examinations agree that they will not copy, reproduce, adapt, disclose, or transmit examinations, in whole or in part, before or after taking an examination, by any means now known or hereafter invented. They further agree that they will not reconstruct examination content from memory, by dictation, or by any other means or otherwise discuss examination content with others. Candidates and Diplomates further acknowledge that disclosure or any other use of ABIM examination content constitutes professional misconduct and may expose them to criminal as well as civil liability, and may also result in ABIM's imposition of penalties against them, including but not limited to, invalidation of examination results, exclusion from future examinations, suspension, revocation of certification and other sanctions.

With respect to ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) products, including its Medical Knowledge Modules and ABIM PIMs Practice Improvement Modules®, candidates agree that they will not copy, reproduce or make any adaptations of such materials in any manner; and will not assist someone else in the infringement or misuse of these or any other ABIM-copyrighted works.


Scoring and Reporting of Exam Results


The examination pass-fail decision is based on your performance on the entire examination. Unanswered questions are scored as incorrect; therefore, you should answer every question. The minimum passing score reflects an absolute standard that is independent of the performance of any group of candidates. This standard has been established by the examination committee and approved by the ABIM Board of Directors.


  • After the exam is given, it will be analyzed and evaluated to ensure the reliability of individual results.
  • Your results will be released and a Score Report will be mailed to you within three months of the last date of the exam in that area.
  • You will receive e-mail notification when your results are released and an announcement will be posted on ABIM's website. No additional information is available until that time.
  • You can obtain your pass/fail status for an exam in the exam history section on your home page under Physician Login when results are released.
  • Scores are provided through the mail only. Copies of your Score Report will be maintained for two years from the date they were released. During that period, you may obtain a copy of your Score Report upon written request.
  • Questions regarding exam results should be submitted in writing within six months of the date results were released.

Those who pass the examination are designated as certified as diplomates of ABIM. They will receive certificates, which will remain valid as long as they continue to participate in MOC in accordance with the MOC program requirements. The certificates are mailed from ABIM within three to four months after candidates are notified of their results. Note: your current board certification status, as well as whether you are participating in MOC is reported on your Physician Login Home Page.