Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the CAQ Written Exam for in Geriatric Medicine:

  • Hold active AOA primary certification in Family Medicine/OMT.
  • Complete an AOA-approved fellowship training program in geriatric medicine OR be on track to complete an AOA-approved fellowship in the same year of the Spring exam administration.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.


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

  • A completed application.
  • Required fees.
  • Copy of medical license with expiration date.
  • Copy of the fellowship training certificate if training completed or letter of recommendation from Program Director in geriatric medicine with verification of start of training date and anticipated completion date.
  • If training is completed in an ACGME fellowship program, submit a letter from the AOA stating that the ACGME fellowship training has been AOA-recognized.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $1,000 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Non-refundable late fees must be submitted with application based on published submission deadlines. Cancellations must be submitted in writing and a cancellation processing fee will be assessed.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Geriatric Medicine CAQ Written Exam is offered yearly at PearsonVUE approved testing centers around the country. The application period opens 6-8 months prior to the exam administration date. A letter confirming eligibility, the exam schedule with further deadlines (test site selection, cancellation, other requests) with instructions on selecting a regional test site with PearsonVUE is provided to the applicant via US mail upon full processing of the application within four weeks. Applicants with deficient applications are notified of deficiencies.

Exam Content Outline

The 200-item single answer multiple-choice examination will cover the broad aspects of geriatric family medicine that physicians caring for the elderly are expected to know. Clinical situations involving diagnosis, etiology, prognosis and natural history of disease and management will be stressed. Specific areas of emphasis will include:

  • Biology and physiology of aging
  • Osteopathic principles and practice in the care of the elderly
  • Demographics of aging
  • Functional assessment of the elderly
  • Ethical issues including life-sustaining treatment and care near the end of life
  • Abuse, neglect and inadequate care of the elderly
  • Nutrition
  • Psychosocial issues of the elderly
  • Drug therapy and the elderly
  • Interdisciplinary team management of the elderly
  • Special care issues, which include psychiatric aspects, exercise, orthopedic problems, sexuality, sleep disorders, decubitus ulcers
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Auditory disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Oral cavity disorders
  • Surgical and anesthesia concerns
  • Falls and syncope
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vision and cataracts
  • Health care systems in geriatric family medicine, including long-term care, policy and reimbursement and access to health care
  • Legal issues in geriatrics medicine
  • Rehabilitation of the elderly
  • Diagnosis and treatment of medical diseases that require a modified approach to management of the elderly, including but not limited to disorders of the cardiovascular system, hypertension, peripheral vascular diseases, disorders of the genitourinary system, pulmonary disease, disorders of the immune system, infections, cancer and hematologic conditions, neurologic diseases, endocrine disorders, osteoporosis, fractures, other diseases of bone, rheumatic diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, gynecological disorders and dermatological conditions.

Exam Scoring

The AOBFP sets passing standards for the Written 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. All examination results will be reviewed by the board. Candidates are informed of results by US mail within 8-10 weeks. Candidates who do not pass the exam will receive notification via regular mail.

Exam Failure

Candidates who do not pass the certification examination may apply for reexamination at the next administration unless additional requirements apply. To apply for reexamination, candidates must submit an online application with the required materials. The initial exam fee is $1,000; however, non-refundable late fees will apply as determined by the submission deadline schedule as posted.