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View answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by educators and examinees.

Diplomate Certification - Common Questions

A candidate who has received the MD degree and has passed the required examinations is eligible for the National Board Certification as a Diplomate.

 The requirements for Certification as an NBME Diplomate include:

  • Passing the first Part or Step before January 1, 1995*. 
  • Receipt of the MD degree from a medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME);
  • Successful completion of Parts I, II, and III or USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3; or a combination of Part I or USMLE Step 1, Part II or USMLE Step 2, and Part III or USMLE Step 3; and
  • Successful completion of one full year (twelve months) in a graduate medical education program accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  Accredited internships in Canada are recognized as meeting this requirement.
  • Passing a Part or Step within three attempts is routinely accepted. The NBME will consider the extraordinary circumstances pertaining to any additional administrations.

The NBME does not re-certify persons it has previously certified; the Certification does not expire.

Based on the full implementation of the USMLE program in 1994, the NBME discontinued the NBME Certification Program for individuals with no passing history prior to January 1, 1995.

To request a decorative, wall-hanging Certificate, log in to your account on the NBME Licensing Examination Services website (NLES) and submit an order.

The wall-hanging Certificates are free of charge.