OSTEOPATHIC BOARD CERTIFICATION

Component 3: Cognitive Assessment

Introduction

Through participation in Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC), AOA board-certified physicians maintain necessary skills, explore advancements in medicine and demonstrate expertise in their specialty. OCC Component 3 requires physicians certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Conjoint Pain Medicine to pass one or more psychometrically valid and proctored examinations focused on assessing medical knowledge and core competencies.

In 2023, the Conjoint Pain Medicine announced the replacement of the traditional high-stakes recertification exam previously required every 10 years with a longitudinal assessment model designed to enhance flexibility and streamline the certification process. Longitudinal assessment leverages technology to facilitate continuous learning through shorter assessments relevant to your specialty training and career, delivered over time via a convenient remote online learning platform.

The Conjoint Pain Medicine longitudinal assessment is administered through the CATALYST platform hosted by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). The platform is easily accessible from your computer or tablet.

Longitudinal Assessment Registration

If you hold an active subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine you are required to participate in longitudinal assessment each year, beginning in the expiration year of your current 10-year certificate. Registration opens in the fall prior to the start of the following year’s assessment.

Diplomates who obtain their initial subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine will not be required to begin participation in longitudinal assessment for one full calendar year after becoming certified. One year from the issue date of your initial subspecialty certification, you will be required to register during the next available registration cycle and begin participation in longitudinal assessment the following year. Example: If you received certification in Fall 2023, you would register for longitudinal assessment in Fall 2024 and begin participation in 2025.

Longitudinal Assessment Schedule

The following chart outlines the annual registration and administration cycles for longitudinal assessment. Each three-year cycle consists of three segments (calendar years).

Longitudinal Assessment Schedule
CERT EXPIRATION REGISTRATION OPENS REGISTRATION CLOSES ASSESSMENT BEGINS
Dec. 31, 2023 Sept. 25, 2023 Nov. 28, 2023 Jan. 2024
Dec. 31, 2024 Sept. 25, 2023 Nov. 28, 2023 Jan. 2024
Dec. 31, 2025 Sept. 2024 Nov. 2024 Jan. 2025
Dec. 31, 2026 Sept. 2025 Nov. 2025 Jan. 2026
Dec. 31, 2027 Sept. 2026 Nov. 2026 Jan. 2027
Dec. 31, 2028 Sept. 2027 Nov. 2027 Jan. 2028
Dec. 31, 2029 Sept. 2028 Nov. 2028 Jan. 2029
Dec. 31, 2030 Sept. 2029 Nov. 2029 Jan. 2030

Longitudinal Assessment Process

Each longitudinal assessment cycle will coincide with the OCC cycle, lasting three years.

During each calendar year of the three-year cycle:

  • Ten items will be delivered during the first three quarters of each calendar year. The items will only be available during the quarter in which they are delivered.
  • You must answer ten untimed multiple-choice questions, for a total of 30 questions per calendar year.

Number of reattempts:

The fourth quarter of the year is reserved for re-attempts. During this quarter you will be allowed to re-attempt incorrectly answered items from that year’s questions only.

Longitudinal Assessment Scoring

You must achieve a cumulative grade of 70% at the conclusion of the three-year cycle to successfully pass the longitudinal assessment.

If you do not achieve a 70% cumulative grade or fail to participate in a required longitudinal assessment, your certification may be placed in inactive status. In either case, you may contact Conjoint Pain Medicine at painmedicine@osteopathic.org to explore options for remediation.

Longitudinal Assessment Fees

Once you begin longitudinal assessment participation, registration is required annually throughout the cycle. A $100 fee will be assessed at the time of registration.

Longitudinal Assessment FAQs

General information:

  • What is longitudinal assessment?
    Longitudinal assessment is a process that leverages technology to facilitate continuous learning by providing shorter assessments of knowledge relevant to your specialty training and career, delivered over time and accessible via a convenient remote online learning platform.
  • When can I begin longitudinal assessment?
    Your certification issue/expiration date will determine when should begin participating in longitudinal assessment.
  • How do I know when my certification was issued or expires?
    Visit the AOA Physician Portal to view your certification details and check the status of your OCC.
  • Do I need to complete longitudinal assessment if I received certification through the AOA’s ABMS reciprocity campaign?
    Yes, you must fulfill all requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification to maintain AOA Board Certification.

Exam platform:

  • How do I register for longitudinal assessment?
    If you are eligible to participate in longitudinal assessment, you can register on the Conjoint Pain Medicine website.
  • How much does longitudinal assessment cost?
    The annual fee is $100 and must be paid at the time of registration.

Longitudinal assessment process:

  • Are the assessments timed?
    No, the assessments are not timed.
  • Can I begin questions stop, and then resume my exam?
    Yes, diplomates may stop and resume the assessment at any time, but all items must be answered before the end of the quarter.
  • What is the passing score?
    You must achieve a cumulative grade 70% at the conclusion of the three-year cycle.
  • What happens if I am unsuccessful in meeting the passing score?
    If a diplomate does not achieve a 70% cumulative grade or fails to participate in the assessment, the diplomate must enter the remediation process.