The following requirements must be met by physicians seeking certification in the subspecialty of Pain Management:
- Achieve primary certification through the AOBA.
- Successfully complete an ACGME-accredited fellowship program in Pain Medicine.
- Have practiced as a specialist in Pain Management for a minimum of one year prior to applying for subspecialty certification.
To take the Written Exam, candidates 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.
- Submit a verification letter emailed directly to email@example.com from your program attesting to the successful completion of an ACGME-accredited pain medicine fellowship
An exam fee of $600 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 ($180.00), or $780.00 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 Pain Management-Anesthesiology Written Exam is offered annually via a remote proctored exam format. The application period opens six months prior to the exam.
The first application deadline will be 60 days prior to the first date of the exam administration window. The final deadline will be 30 days prior to the exam administration window.
All candidates requesting exam accommodations must submit their requests at the time of application and all information must be received at least 30 days prior to the exam administration 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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AOA reports candidates’ certification results using standardized scaled scores. Scaled scores are more valid and reliable compared to raw scores and make scores comparable across different forms of the exam. The AOA reports scores on a 200 to 800-point scale with a scaled score of 500 or higher required to pass.
- A scaled score of 500 represents the minimum level of knowledge and skill necessary to pass the exam as established by AOA Certifying Boards.
- The highest possible scaled score is 800.
- The lowest possible scaled score is 200.
- Overall scores are based on the total number of items answered correctly, regardless of content area.
Results by Content Area
- When possible, a breakdown of exam scores by content area is provided to help you identify your areas of strength and areas that may need more development.
- The number of items for each content area indicates the relative amount of test questions on the exam for that content area.
- Content area scores are not weighted to calculate your overall score; each content area is scored separately after the overall analysis is complete.
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.