The following requirements must be met by physicians seeking certification in the subspecialty of Pain Management:
- Graduate from a college of osteopathic medicine.
- Hold an active license to practice medicine in a state or territory. A physician who has a restricted licence may petition AOBA to enter the certification process based on review of the reason for licensure restriction.
- Demonstrate adherence to the AOA’s Code of Ethics.
- Complete a residency training program in Anesthesiology.
- Achieve primary certification through the AOBA.
- Successfully complete at least a one-year training program in Pain Management. Training is not considered complete until all required documentation is approved by the AOA Council on Postdoctoral Training, AOA and AOBA.
- Have practiced as a specialist in Pain Management for a minimum of one year prior to applying for subspecialty certification.
- Pass a written subspecialty certification examination administered by the AOBA.
In order to take the Written Exam, you must:
- Submit a completed application, required documentation and application fee prior to the application deadline of the year in which the examination is to be taken.
- Provide two letters of endorsement submitted to the board on your behalf by diplomates of the AOBA who can vouch for your professional training and quality of service.
- Be available for a personal interview upon request.
- Demonstrate eligibility for examination in any other manner required by the board.
An exam fee of $600 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 $300 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 subspecialty certification exam is offered once in March and once in August. The application period opens at least 90 days prior to the exam date.
Exam Content Outline
The Written Exam for certification in the subspecialty of Pain Management is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the examination is a 4-hour exam that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, each with a single best answer. Questions will be categorized as follows:
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An adjusted score of 70% is considered passing for the Written Exam. Results will be reviewed by the AOBA Examination Committee and submitted for final approval. The AOA will notify candidates of exam results within 90 days of the exam.
Candidates may attempt to pass the Written Exam up to three times during a three-year period, provided all requirements for examination are met. Following a third failure, the candidate must petition the board to re-enter the certification process. In this case, the board may request additional CME or training as a requirement for re-entry.