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The American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM), established by ASM in 1959, administers certifications recognized by federal and state governmental agencies as a significant component toward meeting licensure requirements to direct laboratories engaged in the microbiological diagnosis of human disease. 

American Board of Medical Microbiology Certification

The ABMM is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-approved board that tests and certifies doctoral-level microbiologists to direct medical and public health microbiology laboratories and perform high complexity testing.

The ABMM is recognized under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 final rule and in all 12 states that require licensure: California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia. 

August 2022: Please be advised that the application deadlines and some eligibility requirements have changed.

Apply for Certification

Review the steps, deadlines, and application to earn the ABMM.

How to apply

What is a Medical Microbiologist?

The board-certified medical microbiology laboratory director is medically, scientifically and administratively responsible for all that happens in the laboratory and is therefore able to affect appropriateness, speed, cost-effectiveness and quality of patient care.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Clinical consultation: Guiding health care providers on the optimal diagnostic tools and treatment choices for their patients.
  • Quality: Serving as leaders of clinical microbiology laboratories to ensure adherence to best practices and regulatory compliance.
  • Leadership: Oversight of large, diverse teams of laboratory scientists and implementation of cutting-edge technologies to improve the practice of laboratory medicine.
  • Education: Educate and train medical students, residents, fellows, medical laboratory scientists/technicians and other health care team members to contribute to the medical and laboratory workforce.
  • Scientific literacy: Quickly evaluate the science around novel infectious diseases and rapidly develop tools to diagnose and treat them at the local level.
  • Community outreach and engagement: Advocate for funding, public policy changes and communicate with the public.

With technology continuously expanding, and over 70% of medical decisions relying on laboratory testing, an ABMM-certified medical microbiologist offers a unique skillset for hospitals, healthcare systems, reference laboratories and industry as a key leader in navigating the ever-changing landscape of infectious disease diagnostics.

How the Medical Microbiologist Works with Health Care Teams

An ABMM-certified medical microbiology laboratory director aids the healthcare team in a variety of ways. A few of these are listed below:

  • Recommending appropriate testing options.
  • Assessing performance parameters for specific tests.
  • Applying appropriate guidelines for interpretation.
  • Reporting of test results. 

Role of ABMM-Certified Directors in Healthcare

Learn why experienced and appropriately qualified medical microbiology laboratory directors are critical to patient care.

Read the Article

Reflections of a Board-Certified Medical Microbiologist

Read this first-hand account of the impact of ABMM on a career of service to medical institutions.

Read the Article