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Oral Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Oral Exam for primary certification in Emergency Medicine:

  • Have successfully completed the Emergency Medicine Written Exam.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
  • Demonstrate eligibility for examination in any other manner required by the board.


Once training requirements for eligibility are met, candidates must submit the following:

  • A completed application.
  • Required fees.
  • Copy of your active primary state license with expiration date.
  • Letter of verification stating that you are currently practicing emergency medicine, which should be written by your hospital administrator on official stationery.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $800 must be submitted with your completed application.

No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Applications submitted after the final deadline will not be accepted.

All cancellations must be made in writing. Please refer to the cancellation policy for further information.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Emergency Medicine Oral (Part II) Exam is offered over two days in November for 2020. The Oral Exam is being offered November 9 and 10, 2020, and will take place in Chicago. Approved candidates will be assigned to one of the two days and will receive detailed travel and hotel information from the AOBEM before their exam date.

Exam Content

The Emergency Medicine Oral Exam evaluates candidates’ clinical ability and skill in diagnosing and treating emergency medicine cases. Candidates taking the oral examination in Emergency Medicine will be tested on their ability to:

  • Take a medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Order necessary diagnostic studies
  • Interpret diagnostic studies
  • Develop a differential diagnosis
  • Arrive at a final diagnosis
  • Determine the need for consultations
  • Treat emergency conditions
  • Make dispositions
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately
  • Proceed in an organized fashion

The format of the Emergency Medicine Oral Exam is clinical presentations that involve either specific data or simulated patient encounters. The exam consists of four stations, as follows:

    • Station 1: Interpret emergency department X-rays and electrocardiograms. You’ll be required to interpret 6 EKGs, 6 X-ray cases, and 7 special diagnosis identification cases. The images will be projected on a large screen in a conference room.
    • Stations 2, 3 and 4: Simulated emergency cases using standardized patients. At each station, you’ll treat 2 cases and will be graded on your ability to take an appropriate history, formulate a differential diagnosis, order and interpret appropriate lab tests, and formulate a therapeutic plan for each presented. A total of 30 minutes will be allotted for each station.

Exam Scoring

The AOBEM sets passing standards for the oral exam using a measurement model known as “criterion-referenced standard setting.” Using this model, the board specifies the particular content and level of content difficulty necessary to be considered a passing candidate.

Below are criteria for failure of the oral examination.

  • Final score below minimum as established by the board
  • Failure of 2 of the 3 clinical stations regardless of final score
  • Failure of 3 of the 6 clinical cases regardless of final score
  • Either omission or commission of an error of significant magnitude resulting either in the mortality of a patient or high probability of causation of morbidity or mortality regardless of the final score
  • Violation of AOA code of conduct

All examination results will be reviewed by the board. Candidates will receive an email notifying them of their results within 8 weeks.

Exam Failure

Candidates who do not pass any certifying examination may apply for reexamination.