To be eligible for subspecialty certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, candidates must meet the criteria below:
- Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine
- Satisfactorily complete an AOA-approved or ACGME-accredited fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
- Hold primary certification from the AOBOG in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- Have been the primary author of a research paper within the last five years that meets professional and publishable standards as determined by a review committee of peers appointed by the AOBOG. The candidate must have had significant input in planning and executing the research. The paper must be an original project (case review is not acceptable) and add to the existing body of medical knowledge of the subspecialty.
- Hold an active license to practice in one of the 50 states or Canada.
- Adhere to the AOA Code of Ethics.
You must submit the following to the AOBOG by the final application deadline:
- Proof of your fellowship’s program-complete status.
- Three binders, each containing a complete set of the required case logs and a copy of your research paper. (Applicants must create four binders – three to send to the AOBOG office and one to bring with to the exam for themselves.) A minimum of 12 cases from pre-selected topics representing your clinical activity over the previous year must be submitted. Cases must be submitted as a formal consultation letter or transcribed case summary to give examiners sufficient information to evaluate the management of each case. View complete case log submission guidelines below.
Case Log Submission Guidelines
The applicant must select a minimum of 12 topics from those listed below and submit at least one case for each. The examiners will review the logs and select 12 acceptable cases for the exam. Therefore, it is recommended that candidates submit more than 12 cases in case one or more is disqualified. The cases must represent your clinical activity during the 12 months prior to your application. No more than three cases may have similar diagnoses. All cases must be submitted in the form of a formal consultation letter or a transcribed case summary to ensure the examiners have enough information to evaluate the management of each case. Cases should also include urodynamics, operative reports and defecography reports as applicable.
Subspecialty Topic List:
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Urinary incontinence
- Suburethral sling surgery
- Refractor detrusor instability/overactivity
- Pelvic floor reconstructive surgery
- Intra-operative injuries and complications
- Pain syndromes
- Urinary tract infection
- Female sexual dysfunction
- Fecal incontinence
- Defecatory dysfunction & constipation
- Chronic voiding dysfunction
- Menopause and hormonal influence on the urinary tract
Applicants must submit three sets of cases and documents, each in an individual binder. Applicants must create four binders – three to send to the AOBOG office and one to bring with to the exam for themselves. The binders must contain:
- Cover sheet, including the applicant’s name, email address, home and office addresses, beginning and ending dates of log, and the name and address of individual hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, and offices represented.
- Table of Contents
- Individual Topics separated by tabs (if more than one case summary is submitted representing a topic, they are to be placed together under that topic tab).
- Consultations or Case Summaries, typewritten on standard 8 ½ x 11″ paper and placed under identifying topic tabs.
- All patient identifiers must be blackened out.
- A copy of your research paper (thesis).
Applicants must bring one binder containing the same to the examination. The AOBOG does not endorse, recommend, or provide any information about review or preparation courses for this examination.
An exam fee of $3,525 must accompany your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Late applications will be charged a $250 late fee, or $3,775 total.
Exam Dates and Deadlines
The Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Subspecialty Oral Exam is offered twice per year in Rosemont, Illinois, generally every April and September/October. The application period opens in September for the spring exam and March for the fall exams. Applications are due in December for the spring exam and June for the fall exam. All required documentation must be uploaded or postmarked by the late application deadline. View all exam deadlines. Exams are typically given on Friday and Saturday. Candidates will be assigned one exam session, either Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, or Saturday afternoon.
Exam Content Outline
The Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Exam is a four-hour oral exam based upon:
- Cases submitted from the candidate’s log of clinical activity.
- The candidate’s defense of the thesis (research paper).
- The candidate’s general knowledge of the subspecialty.
The information extracted from the 12 accepted cases will not be repeated in the general knowledge portion of the exam. Thus, if a case representing a particular topic is not submitted or was not accepted by the examiners, you should assume that topic will be a part of the general knowledge section. The oral exam is administered by two certified physicians selected from the AOBOG Board of Examiners. Monitors, also members of the Board of Examiners, may be present during the exam to assure that it is administered according to AOBOG standards; they are not involved in the grading.
Exam Day Process
- Candidates are required to attend the registration/orientation session, which begins 30 minutes prior to the scheduled examination time and ends 10 minutes prior to the start of the exam.
- Candidates must present a current, valid government-issued photo identification during registration (e.g. driver’s license or passport).
- Candidates should also bring with them a copy of their case logs and/or research paper.
- Failure to arrive in time for registration/orientation will results in automatic cancellation of the exam.
- During registration/orientation, candidates will receive a schedule of their assigned station order and location. Monitors and/or staff will be present in the hallways to help direct candidates to their next station.
- Electronic devices and other personal belongings are not allowed in the exam rooms, and should be left in your hotel room. The AOBOG is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
The exam is scored as follows for first-time candidates. Candidates must achieve a score of 75% to pass:
- 20 % – discussion of cases submitted from the log of clinical activity
- 20 % – candidate’s defense of the thesis (research paper)
- 60 % – candidate’s general knowledge of the subspecialty
Retake exams are scored as follows. Candidates must achieve a score of 75% to pass:
- 50 % – discussion of cases submitted from the log of clinical activity
- 50 % – candidate’s general knowledge of the subspecialty
- A research paper is not required for retake candidates.
The examination results are individually reviewed and approved by the full Board. If examiners determine that the applicant cannot verify significant knowledge of the research paper’s design or implementation, partial or no credit will be given for the paper in the scoring of the examination.