About the Examination

The certification for hospice medical directors offered by HMDCB represents a standard of knowledge and practice. Professionals working in the field of hospice and palliative medicine can demonstrate core competence in the knowledge and skills of their specialty by meeting the HMDCB’s eligibility requirements, passing the examination, and participating in HMDCB’s Recertification program.

The HMDCB examination, offered annually, consists of 165 multiple-choice questions. Candidates will be allowed up to three (3) hours to complete the exam. The exam is administered by computer at more than 190 Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. assessment centers annually throughout the United States. The 2016 exam will be given May 19 - June 6, 2016. 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 services of hospice. By measuring knowledge through a standardized comprehensive examination, certification can help increase the protection and safety of today's patients.

Because hospice medical directors 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 hospice medical directors who have demonstrated minimum core competence in the knowledge and skills necessary to function as a hospice physician and medical director.

Assessing the Body of Knowledge

Clinical experience in the field of hospice and palliative medicine is therefore required for initial certification. The exam is designed for an individual who has actively practiced in the field for a minimum number of hours over a certain time period as outlined in the eligibility requirements.

Current clinical experience in hospice and palliative medicine must use the knowledge and skills described in the content blueprint. Each candidate must therefore assess their own body of knowledge, skills, and understanding of the specialty in deciding when to apply for the exam.


"I felt that the exam was a fair representation of the kinds of problems and challenges that regularly face hospice physicians. A good test should be both challenging and educational. I feel that this exam was both."

2014 HMDC Candidate