Oral/Clinical Exam


Upon successful completion of the Written Exam and AOA approval of residency training, the applicant is eligible for the oral/clinical portion of the examination. This eligibility will be valid for the candidate’s board eligibility period, or for three opportunities to complete the Oral and Clinical Exam successfully, whichever comes first.


In order to take the Oral/Clinical Exam, you must:

  • Submit a completed application, required documentation and application fee prior to the application deadline.
  • Have completed residency training.
  • Receive approval from the AOBNP, the BOS and AOA on successful completion of the Written Exam.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $1500 must be submitted with the completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Psychiatry Oral/Clinical Exam is offered once per year, generally every October. The application period opens in May and applications are due in August.

Exam Content Outline

During the oral portion of the exam, candidates will view two videotaped clinical psychiatric case examinations, about 25 minutes total. They will then meet individually with two or more examiners to discuss each case for 30 minutes. The discussion will cover diagnosis, theory and treatments in recent literature applying to the cases. This discussion may also include other clinical topics in psychiatry.

The clinical portion of the exam consists of a 30-minute live patient interview, followed by a 30-minute discussion with examiners focusing on diagnostic formulation, physician-patient interaction, conduct of the clinical examination, capacity to elicit clinical data, differential diagnosis, prognosis, therapeutic management and knowledge of therapies. Additional questions may address the basic practice of psychiatry and new clinical research.

Osteopathic principles and theory as applied to psychiatry will be discussed throughout both live patient and recorded vignettes.

Exam Scoring

Candidates must pass all sections of the Oral/Clinical Exam. If a candidate has not passed the exam after three attempts, he or she will be required to retake and pass the Written Exam before proceeding once again to the Oral/Clinical Exam.

Candidates will receive written notification as to whether they passed or failed approximately 90 days after the oral/clinical exam. Successful candidates will receive their certificates from the Executive Office of the AOBNP after formal approval of their certification has been accepted by the BOS and Board of Trustees of the AOA.