OSTEOPATHIC BOARD CERTIFICATION

Written Exam

Eligibility

The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Written Exam for subspecialty certification in Oncology:

  • Complete two years of training in an AOA-recognized fellowship program in Oncology or Oncology/Hematology. You must have completed the required training by Aug. 15 of the year you plan to sit the exam.
  • Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.

Note that if you’ve completed at least three years of AOA-recognized training in a Hematology/Oncology program, or a total of at least three years in separate Hematology and Oncology programs, you’re eligible to sit for both subspecialty exams. Of the 36 months of training, at least 12 months must be spent in both Hematology and Oncology.

Requirements

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

  • A completed application.
  • Required fees.
  • Proof of an active medical license.
  • Initial applicants and applicants who have not completed their training must submit a Program Director report verifying clinical competence and the completion date of an AOA-recognized fellowship training program.
  • If you completed your training 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 $800 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Exam applications submitted after June 1 will incur a non-refundable $200 late fee. No applications will be accepted after July 1. All cancellations must be made in writing. No exam fees are refunded unless the candidate withdraws from the examination process, which will result in a loss of board eligibility. Otherwise, candidates’ fees are credited toward the next year’s examination, less the applicable cancellation fee, and will remain board eligible until June 1 of the following year. Cancellation fees are as follows:

  • Before June 1: $100 cancellation fee
  • Between June 1 and July 1: $400 cancellation fee
  • After July 1: $800 cancellation fee

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Oncology Written Exam is offered in August. The application period opens the previous year, starting in December.

Exam Content Outline

The Oncology Written Exam tests the knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles critical to the practice of Oncology. The seven-hour exam consists of 300 multiple choice questions in the following areas:

Subspecialty Certification
CONTENT PERCENT RANGE ON EXAM
  1. 1. Pharmacology/cancer biology/cancer genetics
  2. 2. Breast tumors
  3. 3. Gastrointestinal tumors
  4. 4. Genitourinary tumors
  5. 5. 5. Gynecologic tumors
  6. 6. Hematologic malignancies
  7. 7. Thoracic tumors
  8. 8. Skin cancer
  9. 9. Head and neck cancer
  10. 10. Pancreatic/liver cancer
  11. 11. Bone/soft tissue/sarcoma
  12. 12. Paraneoplastic syndromes
  13. 13. Supportive care/palliative/ethics
  14. 14. Chemotherapy toxicity
  15. 15. Prevention/screening
  16. 16. Opportunistic infection
  17. 17. Cancer trials
  • 2-6%
  • 5-9%
  • 6-10%
  • 10-14%
  • 3-7%
  • 15-19%
  • 4-8%
  • 1-5%
  • 1-5%
  • 2-6%
  • 1-5%
  • 4-8%
  • 5-9%
  • 6-10%
  • 2-6%
  • 1-4%
  • 1-3%

Exam Scoring

The AOBIM 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. Results will be released electronically through the AOBIM’s application portal. Candidates must be program complete and maintain AOA membership in order to access electronic results.

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