Should You Prep for the AOBIM or ABIM Exam?  

In the field of Internal Medicine, there are two recognized board certification exams: The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) exam and the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine (AOBIM) exam. How do these exams compare, and which should medical professionals take based on their practice and career goals? 

How are the AOBIM Exam and ABIM Exam Similar? 

The AOBIM and ABIM exams share many similarities, including: 

  • Both exams are designed to test the candidates’ ability to diagnose and treat various medical conditions, including acute and chronic illnesses. 
  • Both exams are computer-based tests that consist of multiple-choice questions and case studies. 
  • Both exams require candidates to have completed a residency program in Internal Medicine. 

How are the AOBIM Exam and ABIM Exam Different? 

Although the AOBIM and ABIM exams share many similarities, there are some notable differences that physicians should consider before choosing an exam: 

  1. Osteopathic Approach: One of the main differences between the AOBIM and ABIM exams is the Osteopathic approach. The AOBIM exam emphasizes the Osteopathic principles and practices, which focus on treating the whole person and promoting wellness. In contrast, the ABIM exam is more focused on allopathic medicine, which is a traditional approach to medicine that emphasizes the use of drugs and surgery to treat illnesses. 
  1. Accreditation: The AOBIM exam is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), while the ABIM exam is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). 
  1. Exam Length: The AOBIM exam has a slightly different format than the ABIM exam. The AOBIM exam is a single day exam consisting of 320 multiple choice questions, while the ABIM exam lasts approximately 10 hours and consists of a maximum of 240 multiple choice questions.  

Is AOBIM easier than ABIM? 

As both exams have their own unique requirements and content areas, it is difficult to say whether the AOBIM or ABIM is the more difficult exam. In 2022 the first-time pass rate for the ABIM exam was 87%. There is no publicly available pass rate data for the AOBIM. 

Should You take the AOBIM Exam, the ABIM Exam, or Both Internal Medicine Board Exams? 

The AOBIM and ABIM exams both offer unique benefits, but which test is more beneficial? In short, the decision depends on the physician’s personal preference and career objectives. The choice between the two exams will depend on the physician’s practice and career goals. Those who practice Osteopathic Medicine may find the AOBIM exam more aligned with their philosophy and approach, while those who practice allopathic medicine may prefer the ABIM exam. 

How do I review for the AOBIM or ABIM? 

Should You Prep for the AOBIM or ABIM

No matter which exam you choose to take, having top board prep tools is essential to your success. The BoardVitals Internal Medicine Question Bank follows the content outline for both exams, making it an ideal source of exam prep for both the ABIM and AOBIM. Track your progress over time with advanced analytics and identify problem areas before test day. 

Both the AOBIM and ABIM exams are rigorous and comprehensive tests that evaluate the medical knowledge and clinical competence of physicians. Whether you sit for one or both exams, you will be prepared to practice in the field of Internal Medicine. 

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