About the Examination

The certification for hospice medical directors, or physicians who provide hospice care, offered by HMDCB represents a standard of knowledge and practice. Professionals working in the field of hospice and palliative medicine can demonstrate the knowledge and skills of their specialty by meeting the HMDCB’s eligibility requirements, passing the examination, and participating in HMDCB’s Maintenance of Certification program.

The HMDCB examination consists of 165 multiple-choice questions (150 scored questions). Candidates will be allowed three (3) hours to complete the exam, which is administered by computer at more than 300 PSI Candidate Services assessment centers throughout the United States. Examinations are administered by appointment only.

Protecting the Public

A primary purpose of certification is protection of the public and promotion of the safety and health of individuals requiring the hospice services. By measuring knowledge through a standardized comprehensive examination, certification can help achieve those purposes.

Because hospice medical directors and physicians who provide hospice car provide services of critical importance to individuals as they approach the end of life, it is beneficial for the general public as well as other healthcare providers to be able to recognize this group who has demonstrated minimum core competence in the knowledge and skills necessary to function as a hospice physician and/or medical director.

Assessing the Body of Knowledge

Each candidate must therefore assess their own body of knowledge, skills, and understanding of the specialty in deciding when to apply for the exam.

Clinical experience in the field of hospice and palliative medicine is required for initial certification, and must use the knowledge and skills described in the Content Blueprint. The exam is designed individuals who have actively practiced in the field for a minimum number of hours over a certain time period as outlined in the eligibility requirements.


"HMDCB certification provides a methodology that patients can compare providers by meeting benchmark standards of quality care. I’ve encouraged not only our staff providers to become HMDCB-certified, but also our fellows, to ensure uniform quality standards in this select group of clinicians."

Associate Medical Director
Community Hospice and Palliative Care
Jacksonville, FL