American Board of Medical Quality


2018 Examinations: Certification in Medical Quality (CMQ)

The American Board of Medical Quality is pleased to offer physicians and other eligible professional candidates a certification exam to test basic knowledge in medical quality management. To date more than 300 individual candidates have been granted their CMQ (Certified in Medical Quality) designation by ABMQ, based on their credentials and exam performance.

In addition to individual credentialing and assessment of medical quality knowledge, the 2016 certifying examination is offered to educational institutions and other organizations for use as an educational needs assessment tool. With health care reform initiatives, ACGME requirements, and competition increasingly focused on quality, knowing the knowledge level of your medical staff and institutions’ physicians in training is critical. Your review of the examination data can facilitate clinical quality improvement: Executive leadership of multi-hospital healthcare systems and health plans, can utilize ABMQ data to assess the level of quality management knowledge of their medical directors; Program directors and executive leadership of educational institutions with large residency and fellowship programs, can utilize ABMQ data to assess the strengths and gaps in quality management knowledge, modify teaching methods, create effective curriculum, and demonstrate resident and fellow competency in medical quality improvement. Request and arrangements for exam details and analysis of organizational/institutional candidates can be made through Bridget Brodie, Executive VP (

For 2018, we offer the exam in three locations:

  1. Washington, D.C.
    Date and Time: April 15, 2018 @ 9:00am EDT (time subject to change)
    Location: In conjunction with the ACMQ Annual Conference,
The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036
    Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 24, 2018
    Contact Information: (301) 365–3162 or
2. Houston, TX
    Date and Time: Saturday, May 19, 2018 (time TBD)
    Location: MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
    Application Deadline: TBA
    Contact Information:
3. SEHA, Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Date and Time: TBD, 2018
    Location: Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Application Deadline: TBA
    Contact Information:
Exam Format: Candidates are given 2 hours to complete the exam, which is a proctored, multiple choice examination of 100 questions. The ABMQ recommends candidates study the ACMQ textbook, Medical Quality Management: Theory and Practice, as well as other resources found in the Candidates’ Manual (see below for links).
Examination Fees: $495 per candidate
$395 ACMQ member early application (before 11/30)
$350 recertification candidates
$250 ACMQ Quality Scholars ($125 with application, $125 when licensed)
$315 University of Texas Health System/MDACC candidates for the Houston exam
$315 candidates for the exam at SEHA, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Paid fees are non-refundable; however, in the event a candidate needs to cancel, funds may be applied to the exam for the subsequent year.

Discounts are available for educational, institutional or organizational sponsors with multiple candidates sitting for the exam. Fees are: $395 per candidate for 2-5 candidates from a single institution and $315 per candidate for more than 5 candidates from a single institution.
Board Certification: Successful candidates will gain the designation of Certified in Medical Quality (CMQ). Candidates will be contacted within 6 weeks of exam date regarding exam results. Candidate criteria for board eligibility can be found below.

Recertification is required five years after the initial exam date. Further recertification is required every ten years.
Application: Download the Candidates’ Manual, complete the application form and return via email (, fax or mail (details on application form). Potential candidates will be emailed regarding exam eligibility. Application forms are found in the manuals provided in the link.

General Candidates:

ACMQ Quality Scholar Candidates:

Recertification Candidates:

ACMQ members only:

Multiple candidates (2 or more) from a single institution.
Eligibility Criteria:
1. Candidates must be:

a. Have an MD, DO, DDS, DPM, DMD or DNP degree, with an active unrestricted license to practice, and experience or expertise in using the principles of quality to improve clinical practice; OR
b. Have a PharmD, JD [health law], or other doctorate in a health-related field, with experience or expertise in using the principles of quality improvement: OR
c. Be a holder of a postgraduate degree (Master’s or higher, e.g. MPH, MPA, MSc, MBA, MSN) and experience or expertise in using the principles of quality improvement; OR
d. Submit a written statement, to be reviewed and approved by the ABMQ exam committee, showing proof of:

i. training or participation in educational activities in healthcare quality, OR
ii. expertise in in quality management, measurement, assessment or improvement, OR
iii. full membership in the American College of Medical Quality.

2. Students and residents without a medical license who have been awarded the status of Quality Scholar by ACMQ may be approved as eligible to take the exam under the following conditions:

a. Applicants must submit proof of their status of Quality Scholar from current or previous years; AND
b. Applicants will pay an application fee of approximately 50% of the standard physician exam fee; AND
c. Half of this special application fee will be paid upon application. Successful candidates will be required to hold an unrestricted license and pay the second half of the special fee before they can use the CMQ designation and receive their CMQ certificate; AND
d. The term of certification will begin on the date of the candidate’s receiving an unrestricted license to practice medicine. Recertification will be due five years from the date of the beginning of the term of certification.
e. Successful candidates who have an unrestricted license to practice medicine should complete this form and send it to ABMQ together with a copy of their license.
ADA Compliance: It is the policy of ABMQ to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) regulations governing both facilities and administration. ABMQ will take steps reasonably necessary to make its examination programs accessible to persons with disabilities. Appropriate and effective modifications and/or auxiliary aids will be provided to such persons with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue burden on the ABMQ program or fundamentally alter the measurement of skills or knowledge that the program is intended to test. An applicant may request a change in certification procedures or process due to a disability, handicap or other reason. Such notice and documentation must be provided with the application for examination at least 45 days in advance of the examination date. The applicant is responsible for demonstrating that the request should be granted.
1. Please note that this information for the 2017 examination is subject to change.
2. The Certification in Medical Quality (CMQ) recognizes that recipients have mastered a level of knowledge and a fundamental understanding of the basic tenets of medical quality as identified by the American Board of Medical Quality (ABMQ).
3. The ABMQ has reviewed and approved the eligibility criteria of all candidates for the CMQ. Candidates have verified by signature that the credentials listed in the CMQ examination application are correct. ABMQ is not responsible for any misrepresentation of candidates' credentials.
4. The study materials listed on this website may be suggested or developed by the American College of Medical Quality (ACMQ), which has no further influence over or access to the content of the ABMQ examination.