Written Exam


Fellowship Pathway

To be eligible for certification in Pain Medicine through the Fellowship Pathway, candidates must meet the criteria below:

Exam Fees

An application fee of $1,300 must accompany your completed application. This includes a non-refundable $100 application fee and $1,200 exam fee. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Applications submitted after the first deadline, but before the final deadline, will be charged a $100 late fee.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Pain Medicine Written Exam is offered twice a year, generally in spring and fall.

Exam Content Outline

The Pain Medicine Written Exam consists of 200 scored items and up to 25 non-scored items. Non-scored items are inserted throughout the examination to obtain data relating to the performance of the items. The items may be selected for use as scored items in future examinations.

Subspecialty Certification
Comprehensive Osteopathic Assessment of Pain 23-27%
Osteopathic Manipulation 3-7%
Therapeutic Measures /Modalities 28-32%
Regional Pain 20-24%
Diffuse Pain Syndromes 5-9%
Special Populations 9-13%

You can download the complete exam table of specifications below.

Exam Scoring

Test questions are scored as right or wrong and all scored questions count equally. A criterion-referenced passing standard will be set and used to determine if candidates pass or fail. The passing standard is held constant over repeated examination administrations. The method helps to ensure that a candidate’s pass/fail status is based on what the candidate knows and can demonstrate on the examination and not on other candidates testing at the same time. Secure procedures are used to administer the examination. All examinations are proctored. Candidates will be informed of their results within 90 days of the examination date. Successful candidates will receive a certificate for Subspecialty Certification in Pain Medicine notating an expiration date of ten years thereafter. The certificate will be awarded after the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists gives final approval of the exam process for each candidate. This approval process may take about three months following the notification of successful completion of the examination.