Component 3: Cognitive Assessment
To complete Component 3 requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification in the primary specialty of Emergency Medicine, a physician must pass a written examination. You can view your status for all components of Osteopathic Continuous Certification by logging in to the AOA Physician Portal.
The Emergency Medicine OCC exam is a half-day computer-based exam made up of “choose the one best answer” multiple choice questions. Diplomates may begin taking the exam three years prior to the expiration date of their certification. AOBEM exams are evaluated using an absolute standard (pass/fail).
OCC Cognitive Exam Content
There are 150 items on the Emergency Medicine OCC exam and 100 or 150 items on the subspecialty OCC exam. The majority of questions require you to choose one correct answer from five choices.
The exam will cover all areas of emergency medicine as thoroughly as possible, including:
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Applications and Payment
Diplomates must submit an exam application, copy of their current medical license, and fees no later than Feb. 1 of the year they plan to take the exam. Diplomates who submit application materials after Feb. 1 will be assessed an $800 late fee. No applications will be accepted after March 1.
If a diplomate passes the OCC Written Exam in a year prior to the year in which the certificate expires, the passing grade will be held and reported to the AOA when all OCC requirements have been met, the new certificate will be valid for 10 years from the date of the expiring certificate.
In accordance with the AOBEM Standards Review Committee, the Written Exam is reviewed by a psychometrician to verify adherence to rule of practice established in the APA/AERA National Standards for Education and Psychological Testing.
Pass and fail decisions are based solely on the content mastery displayed by the diplomate. All exam results are reviewed and approved by the board. Diplomates will be notified no later than 90 days following the board’s decision.
Candidates who do not pass the OCC Written Exam may apply for reexamination and will be required to follow the OCC process in its entirety. The reexamination fee is $400.
Right to Appeal
If a candidate feels that actions of the AOBEM with regard to any part of the certification process constitute unequal application of the Bylaws or Policies and Procedures, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to the board.
Appeals to the board must be made in writing and should include any supporting document for proper review of the case. You must submit the completed appeal request form to the AOBEM within 24 hours of completing the exam.
The board will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers to exam questions, scoring of the exam, and/or determination of the minimum passing score. If an appeal is denied by the AOBEM, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS).
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOBEM complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBEM complies with requirements prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, as well as regulations for Title II and Title III (and all subsequent regulations) as printed in the federal register.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): In compliance with the HIPAA Act of 1996 and any subsequent modifications, the AOBEM ensures that individuals’ health information is properly protected, while allowing the flow of health information to provide and promote high quality health care. All medical records submitted for review by candidates for AOBEM certification will be de-identified by the candidate prior to submission, such that the remaining information cannot be used to identify an individual patient.