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Hospice & Palliative Medicine

Hospice & Palliative Medicine

ABS diplomates seeking specialty certification in hospice and palliative medicine will complete the application and registration process through the American Board of Internal Medicine. 


Surgeons are able to certify in HPM via the ABIM

Achieving and maintaining hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) certification through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) enhances the HPM initial and continuing certification processes for diplomates and assists them in maintaining a high level of knowledge, judgment, and skills in HPM.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved the ABS, along with the American Board of Gynecology (ABOG), American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR), American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), and American Board of Radiology (ABR), to move from co-sponsoring boards to qualifying boards in HPM. This means that all HPM initial and continuing certification standards and activities have moved from these boards to ABIM.

Initial Certification

Diplomates will apply directly through the ABIM for initial certification in HPM

ABS diplomates seeking specialty certification in HPM will complete the application and registration process through the ABIM. Those who achieve initial certification in HPM will become ABIM diplomates for this certification, and will maintain that certification through the ABIM.

Will I still be certified by the ABS?
Diplomates will be certified by the ABIM in HPM, but may continue to maintain their general surgery certification or other ABS specialty certification(s) as long as they continue to participate and meet all requirements of the ABS Continuous Certification Program. It is the diplomate’s choice whether to maintain said certifications or allow them to expire.

Continuing Certification

Diplomates no longer maintain their HPM certificate through the ABS

As of 2022, ABS diplomates certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) moved to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to maintain their certification.

How will I transition to ABIM for HPM certification?
Diplomates who hold a HPM certificate will be able to register for an examination with the ABIM via ABIM’s physician portal. The ABIM contacted all ABS diplomates with a current HPM certification regarding portal registration in December 2021. After registering in the physician portal, diplomates will be able to select the option of either maintaining HPM certification or allowing it to expire.
Will I need to participate in continuing certification programs with both boards if I also choose to maintain a certification with my original board?
Yes. To maintain your ABS certification, diplomates must participate in the ABS Continuous Certification Program and complete all ongoing requirements when due. The ABIM does have a reciprocity policy to help streamline continuing certification requirements. ABIM diplomates who are dual boarded by one or more of the other ABMS Member Boards can have the ABIM MOC points requirement waived.

Diplomates who are eligible to receive this reciprocal credit will see a feature box at the bottom of the ABIM Physician Portal. They can click on the feature to attest to being currently certified by and participating in the other board's continuing certification program.
Diplomates still need to meet other ABIM MOC requirements: maintaining a valid, unrestricted, and unchallenged medical license, passing a secure ABIM MOC assessment, and meeting any other ABIM-specific subspecialty procedural requirements.
ABIM will email all pertinent details to diplomates who want to maintain their HPM certificate. Diplomates should check their email inbox regularly to stay informed by ABIM. Learn more about ABIM’s MOC program. Diplomates may also email or call 1-800-441-ABIM for information.

Note: Because the ABS is no longer offering HPM as an ABS specialty and HPM certificates are issued by ABIM, diplomates’ certification status for HPM will no longer appear on the ABS website or verification of credentials. To access the verification of credentials tool for ABIM, please visit the ABIM website or see the ABMS website


ABIM is available to assist diplomates who have questions or need assistance with HPM enrollment, fees, or other HPM-related matters.