Cognitive Assessment (Component 3) – Pain Management – Anesthesiology: Cognitive Assessment


To meet the Cognitive Assessment (Component 3) requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC), in the subspecialty of Pain Management – Anesthesiology you must pass a psychometrically valid written cognitive assessment designed to evaluate your specialty medical knowledge and mastery of core competencies in the provision of health care. The AOBA sets forth the following requirements for Cognitive Assessment (Component 3).

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $750 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 $225 will be applied.

Exam candidates may elect to cancel their exam up to 60 days prior to the date of the exam. If cancelling, a reason for cancellation must be provided in writing to aoba@osteopathic.org. Exam cancellations received 60 days or more prior to the exam date will be refunded less a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received within 60 days of the exam date.

Exam Process

The Pain Management – Anesthesiology OCC Certification Exam is offered annually via a remote proctored exam format. The application period opens five months prior to the exam.

The examination will consist of questions on clinical diagnosis and treatment, current knowledge, and clinical problems commonly encountered. The questions are designed to ensure appropriate evaluation of a candidate’s knowledge, intellectual abilities, judgment, and skills in the discipline of Pain Management – Anesthesiology. The examination is a 2-hour and 45-minute exam that consists of 100-120 multiple-choice questions, each with a single best answer. Questions will be categorized as follow:

Subspecialty Certification
I. Anatomy & Physiology
  • 8-12%
II. Diagnostic Testing 5-9%
III. Pain Assessment & Classification
  • 3-7%
IV. Pharmacology
  • 21-25%
V. Medical & Invasive Techniques
  • 23-27%
VI. Pediatric, OB & Other Special Situations
  • 6-10%
VII. Psychological Aspects
  • 1-5%
VIII. Disability & Medicolegal
  • 11-15%
IX. Osteopathic Principles & Methods
  • 1-5%

Exam Scoring

AOA reports certification results using standardized scores. An adjusted score of 70% or greater is required to pass. The passing standard is determined by subject matter experts and osteopathic physicians who practice Pain Management Anesthesiology.

Candidates may attempt to pass the Pain Management – Anesthesiology OCC Certification Exam within three-years prior to expiration.

Pass and fail decisions are based solely on the content mastery displayed by the diplomate. Results will be reviewed by the AOBA Examination Committee and submitted for final approval. The AOA will notify candidates of exam results within 60 days of the exam.


Exam Failure

A physician may re-enter the process by completing any outstanding OCC requirements not fulfilled when the certification became inactive. The date of certification will be effective on the date that all requirements have been satisfied.

Physicians wishing to re-enter the certification process three (3) or more years following the expiration or inactivation of their certification must take and pass at a minimum the primary written certification examination or other applicable examination(s) as determined by the respective board and immediately begin the OCC process through participation in a Component 4 activity. Specialty certifying boards may also require additional examination and remedial activities such as training or CME.