Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to take the initial certification examination, you must meet the following requirements at the time of application:

  1. hold a current, unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or its territories or in Canada
  2. conform to HMDCB’s Code of Professional Conduct
  3. demonstrate a minimum of 400 hours of broad hospice-related activities* during the previous 5 years.

In addition, you must be eligible for at least one (1) of the following eligibility pathways:

  1. Practice Pathway: Two (2) years of work experience in a hospice setting during the previous 5 years
  2. Certification Pathway: Current, valid board certification in hospice and palliative medicine through the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or
  3. Training Pathway: Successful completion of a 12-month clinical hospice and palliative medicine training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or AOA.

*Hospice-related activities are defined as activities within the hospice setting as outlined in the content blueprint (eg, engagement in IDG, patient care, certification process, medication management, participating in performance improvement, and administrative activities).

To achieve HMDCB certification, physicians must pass a computer-based, multiple-choice examination. The HMDCB emphasizes that this certification examination is designed for physicians who have 2 years of experience as a hospice medical director or physician who provides hospice care. 

For information about eligibility for Continuing Certification, please visit the Continuing Certification Requirements page.

"It is a very comprehensive exam that is designed to evaluate the knowledge and clinical judgment skills in key areas of hospice. I am glad I took this test."

Palliative Medicine Lead
Kaiser Permanente, Modesto, CA