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In March 2007, with financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AMIA launched an 18 month process to define the core content of the subspecialty of clinical informatics and the training requirements for proposed clinical informatics fellowships. Upon approval of these documents by the AMIA Board in November 2008, AMIA contacted several medical specialty boards to assess their interest in, and willingness to sponsor, an application to the American Board of Medical Specialty (ABMS) to create an approved certification process for the clinical informatics subspecialty.

In July 2009, the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) agreed to sponsor the application for a new subspecialty examination, and, in March 2010, ABPM submitted a formal application to ABMS to create the subspecialty certification. After an extensive review by the ABMS specialty boards and the ABMS Committee on Certification (COCERT), the proposal was approved by the ABMS Board in a vote on September 21, 2011.