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Oral Exam


To be eligible for certification in Maternal Fetal Medicine, candidates must meet the criteria below:

  • Be a graduate of a COCA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine or an LCME accredited medical school in the U.S. or Canada.
    • Physicians who graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S. or Canada are also eligible if they hold a valid certificate, without expired examination dates, from the ECFMG.
  • Satisfactorily complete an AOA-approved or an ACGME-accredited fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine.
  • Hold primary certification from the AOBOG in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  • Have been the primary author of a research paper 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.
  • A complete set of required case logs and a copy of your research paper. 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 cases from the topics below. 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.

Subspecialty Topic List:

  • Prenatal diagnosis & screening
    • Multiple marker screening
    • First trimester screening
    • Teratology counseling
  • Ultrasound
    • Diagnosis of congenital anomalies
    • Growth and well-being parameters
    • Doppler (both diagnostic and well-being applications)
  • Management of amniotic fluid abnormalities
    • Oligohydramnios
    • Polyhydramnios
  • Diagnosis and management of fetal arrhythmia
  • Fetal therapy (medical and/or surgical)
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Multiple gestation diagnosis and management
  • Hemolytic disease of the newborn
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Preterm labor and delivery
  • Post-term pregnancy
  • Management of placental abnormalities
    • Previa
    • Abruption
    • Vasa previa
    • Succenturiate lobe
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Maternal and fetal infectious diseases
  • Management of HIV/AIDS
  • Maternal cardiac disease
  • Fetal cardiac disease
  • Maternal thromboembolic disease
  • Maternal thrombophilia
  • Hypertension diseases of pregnancy
  • Critical care management
  • Maternal medical diseases other than diabetes and hypertension
  • Maternal diabetes (both gestational and pre-gestational)

NEW FOR APPLICATIONS BEGINNING MARCH 1, 2021: Applicants must submit their cases and research paper electronically by uploading all files to the application platform following the guidelines below:

  1. 1. 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.
    • Use this structure to name your file: “Last Name First Name_Subspecialty_Cover Sheet”
      • Example: “Smith Jane_MFM_Cover Sheet”
  2. 2. Table of Contents – a list of all the cases submitted with brief description (a copy of the filename as listed below in #3 is sufficient)
    • Use this structure to name your file: “Last Name First Name_Subspecialty_Table of Contents”
      • Example: “Doe John_MFM_Table of Contents”
  3. 3. A minimum of 12 cases, named and submitted individually
    • Use this structure to name your files: “Number_Topic_Patient Identifier”
      • Example:
        • “1_Amniotic Fluid Abnormalities_ABC”
        • “2_PROM_DOB 1.1.1990”
    • Cases should be submitted in the form of consultations or case summaries and must be typewritten.
    • All patient identifiers must be removed or blackened out.
  4. 4. Research Paper
    • Use this structure to name your file: “Last Name First Name_Subspecialty_Research Paper”
      • Example: “Fox Susan_MFM_Research Paper”

Candidates should have a clean paper copy of their cover sheet and table of contents only on exam day.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $3,525 must accompany your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Applications submitted after the first deadline will be charged a 30% late fee.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Maternal Fetal Medicine Oral Exam is offered twice per year, spring and fall, via remote proctoring. The application period opens six months and closes three months prior to the exam date. All required documentation must be uploaded by the late application deadline. For a list of currently scheduled exam dates, please visit our Important Dates page. Exams are typically given on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. Candidates will be assigned one exam session, morning or afternoon, on any one of those three days.

Exam Content Outline

The Maternal Fetal Medicine Exam is a 4-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.
    • Topics covered in the general knowledge portion of the exam include:
      • Early fetal development, including effects of teratogens
      • Basic genetics
      • Prenatal diagnosis
      • Placental physiology
      • Immune disease and pregnancy
      • Anatomic defects in the maternal reproductive tract and their influence on reproduction
      • Influences on later fetal development
      • Fetal imaging
      • Evaluation of fetal wellbeing
      • Physiology – maternal/fetal

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. 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. Candidates are required to attend a Registration/Orientation session that begins 45 minutes prior to the scheduled examination time. The examination will be cancelled if the candidate is not present by the close of Registration.

Exam Day Process

  • Candidates will be assigned to a morning or afternoon session on either of the posted examination dates. Assignments can be expected approximately two months prior to the exam date.
  • The exam is conducted virtually. Candidates will need a computer with webcam, mobile phone and internet connection. Personal devices and network are highly recommended, as work devices and networks may have firewalls that will not allow the platform to function properly.
  • Candidates will receive information regarding technical requirements and pre-checks in advance of the examination. Candidates must read all information and perform any requested actions in a timely fashion or their examination may be cancelled.
  • Candidates will be requested to log in to the virtual platform 30-45 minutes in advance of their scheduled exam time. During check-in, candidates must present a current, valid government-issued photo identification during registration (e.g. driver’s license or passport).
  • Failure to arrive in time to complete all required security and identity checks may result in automatic cancellation of the exam.
  • Candidates should have a clean copy of their table of contents and research paper only available during the exam. “Clean” means free of any writing, notes or additional information not submitted during the application process. (Candidates are not to have a copy of their case logs during the exam.)

Exam Scoring

The exam is scored as follows for both first-time and retake 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

Every effort will be made to release results within eight weeks of the exam window. Results are posted to the secure portal used to apply for the exam. Candidates will be notified by email of the results posting.