Clinical Exam


In order to take the AOBA Clinical Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology the physician candidate must have:

  • Successfully passed the Written Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology.
  • Successfully passed the Oral Exam for primary certification in Anesthesiology.
  • Completed one year of clinical practice

Please note: A physician will not be allowed to sit for the Clinical Exam prior to successful completion of their residency program and one-year of clinical practice. Successful completion requires that all documentation is received and approved by the AOA Council on Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training (COPT). The AOBA must receive notification from COPT that the candidate has been approved at least 30 days prior to the date of the exam.


In order to sit for the Clinical Exam, you must:

  • Submit a completed application, required documentation and application fee prior to the application deadline.
  • Receive approval from the AOBA, the BOS and the AOA on successful completion of the Written Exam and Oral Exam.
  • Provide evidence verifying AOA approval of your residency training.
  • Submit a list of anesthetic procedures *personally administered by you for a three months period prior to submission of your application. Note that 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 personally administered or you have personally supervised a physician-trainee. If your list does contain cases of personally supervised physician-trainees, you should so indicate these by an asterisk preceding the list number in the left margin.

Examination Fees

An exam fee of $2,000 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

After the published registration deadline, a late fee of $500 will be applied.

Exam candidates may elect to cancel their exam up to 30 days prior to the date of the exam. If cancelling, a reason for cancellation must be provided to aoba@osteopathic.org. If the request is approved, all exam fees will be refunded less a $100 cancellation fee. The AOBA will evaluate cancellation requests on a case-by-case basis.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The AOBA Clinical Exam is offered twice a year. The next exam cycles will take place as follows:

  • The next AOBA Clinical Exam application period opens Oct. 20, 2019 with a deadline of March 5, 2020. Applications will be reviewed in March 2020 and exams will be scheduled between April 2020 and September 2020.
  • Another AOBA Clinical Exam application period will open in Feb. 15, 2020, with a deadline of July 2020. Those applications will be reviewed in September 2020 and exams will be scheduled between October 2020 and March 2021.

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 apply to retake the examination for a fourth and final time.

Upon failing the Clinical Exam for a fourth time, a candidate will be ruled “Board Ineligible” and will not be allowed to re-enter the certification process.