Clinical Exam


To take the AOBA Clinical Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology the candidate must have:

  • Successfully passed the Written Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology.
  • Successfully passed the Oral Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology.
  • Successfully completed an ACGME-accredited Anesthesiology residency.
  • Completed one year of clinical practice.

Please note: Candidates must have successfully completed their residency program and completed one year of clinical practice prior to sitting for the Clinical Exam. Candidates in fellowship programs will need to have successfully completed their residency program and submit case logs with their application prior to the Clinical Exam.


To sit for the Clinical Exam, candidates must:

  • Successfully pass the AOBA Written exam and Oral Exam.
  • Submit a completed application, required documentation and application fee prior to the application deadline.
  • Verification letter emailed directly to postdoc@osteopathic.org from your program attesting to the successful completion of an ACGME-accredited residency training in Anesthesiology.
  • Submit a list of anesthetic procedures personally administered* by you for a three months period prior to submission of your application. Candidates are required to continue maintaining case logs for all anesthetic procedures performed until the scheduled Clinical Exam. On the day of the exam, the AOBA examiner(s) will select up to 15 cases from the case logs.
    • *The current interpretation of the term “personally administered” is defined as those cases which you have administered on your own or you have personally supervised a physician-trainee. If your list does contain cases of personally supervised physician-trainees, these cases should be indicated with an asterisk preceding the list number in the left margin. Supervised cases of CRNAs or SRNAs are not accepted.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $2000 must accompany your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

Applications submitted after the first deadline must include an additional 30% late fee ($600.00), or $2,600.00 total. Examination fees must be made by credit card within the application portal. No other forms of payment may be accepted.

Exam Cancellation Fees

  • 0 – 30 days before the exam: no refund
  • 31 days or more prior to the exam date: 50% refund
  • No refunds of late fees
  • Rejected Applications: 75% refund

Note: Prior to submitting your application, please be certain that you meet the criteria to apply

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The AOBA Clinical Exam is generally offered twice per year.

  • The Winter Clinical Exam application period opens in October, with a deadline in March.
  • The Spring Clinical Exam application period opens in March, with a deadline in August.

The application period opens six months prior to the exam. Upon successful completion of the application process, the AOBA will advise applicants via email of acceptance to take the exam.

All candidates requesting exam accommodations must submit their requests at the time of application and by the final application deadline.

Exam Process

Prior to the Clinical Exam, candidates must provide a list of all anesthetic procedures personally administered during the three months immediately preceding the exam.

Candidates should notify their institution’s Medical Records Department of the date that examiners will be present. In addition, candidates should arrange for availability of any hospital records the examiner may require, as well as a suitable place to review the records. The candidate must be available during review of the selected cases and should be prepared to guide the examiner through the mechanics of charting involved in each case.

As part of the Clinical Exam, the candidate should be prepared to administer two major anesthetics of a diversified character and may be required to provide copies of any part of the patient’s record.

Note: Supervised cases of CRNAs or SRNAs are not acceptable as part of the chart review at the time of the Clinical Examination. The AOBA is not evaluating the case management of CRNAs or SRNAs, but of the physician for whom the examination is being administered, so candidates must submit their own personally performed case logs. The AOBA examiner(s) will select up to 15 cases, which must be available in their entirety on the day of the candidate’s Clinical Examination.

Examination Scoring

A raw score of at least 70 is considered passing for the Clinical Exam, broken down into two areas:

  • Medical Records Review: Accounts for 40% of the score and includes review of 10 medical records of the examiner’s choosing.
  • Observed Cases: Accounts for 60% of the score and requires the examiner to observe at least two anesthetic cases of a diversified nature.

In the event of a failing grade, the examiner will provide a written explanation of deficiencies.

Examination Failure

Following initial failure of the Clinical Exam, a candidate may reapply for the exam by completing the following steps:

  • Apply for the exam and pay all appropriate fees.
  • Submit six months of logs that do not include any of the cases from the previously submitted logs.
  • Present six detailed case reports of anesthetics you personally administered within a specified period.

If a candidate fails the Clinical Exam a third time, the board recommends completion of a one-year senior level position in an AOA-approved training program or its equivalent (i.e., fellowship). Upon completion of that program, the candidate may petition the AOBA for reinstatement into the process.

Candidates who started the AOBA certification process after July 1, 2009, must successfully pass all certification exams (written, oral and clinical) within six years of completing an AOA-approved residency program. Physicians who are unable to complete the process within this time or who fail any exam required for certification (written, oral or clinical) three times must petition the AOBA for reinstatement into the process.