Component 3: Cognitive Assessment
To complete Component 3 requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification in the primary specialties of Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine, a physician must pass a written examination once per 10-year OCC cycle. You can view your status for all components of Osteopathic Continuous Certification, including Component 3, by logging in to the AOA Physician Portal.
The AOBPa offers OCC Exams in the primary specialties of Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine and the subspecialty of Forensic Pathology. Each OCC exam includes a written and practical section. Exams are offered once each year, usually in the fall at OMED. Diplomates are eligible to take the OCC exam within three years of their certificate’s expiration date. For physicians holding time-dated certification, failure to successfully complete the OCC process will result in the loss of certification when their current certification expires.
Anatomic Pathology OCC Exam
The Anatomic Pathology OCC Exam consists of a written and a practical section. Each section contains 50 multiple-choice questions and is two hours in length. The table below outlines the content areas covered by the exam.
|OCC Exam: Anatomic Pathology|
|Gastrointestinal (includes GI tract, liver, pancreas, gallbladder)||22%|
|Head and Neck (excludes Neuropathology)||5%|
|Genitourinary (includes male reproductive)||6%|
|Administrative, Inspection, and DO Viewpoint||8%|
|Lung and Respiratory Tract (includes pleura)||6%|
|Soft Tissue, Bones, and Joints||5%|
|Obstetrical and Gynecologic||13%|
Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine OCC Exam
The Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine OCC Exam consists of a written and a practical section. The written section contains 75 multiple-choice questions, and the practical section contains 25 multiple-choice questions. Each section is two hours in length. The below table outlines the content areas covered by the exam.
|OCC Exam: Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine|
|Hematopathology and Hemostasis – Bone Marrows, CBC, Molecular Pathology, Coagulation||21%|
|Microbiology – Virology, Spirochetes, Parasitology, Mycobacteriology, Mycology, Chlamydia/Rickettsia, Bacteriology||17%|
|Transfusion Medicine/Immunology – Allergy, Autoimmune Disorders, Blood Banking/Transfusion, Immune Deficiency||11%|
|Chemistry – Blood Bas/Electrolytes, Cancer Mngt/Tumor Markers, Carbohydrates, Endocrine, Enzymes, Fertility and Gestation, GI/Pancreas, Lipids, Liver, Toxicology/TDM||32%|
|Urine/Clinical Microscopy – Body Fluids, Urinalysis||9%|
Forensic Pathology OCC Exam
The Forensic Pathology OCC Exam consists of a written and a practical section. The written section contains 25 multiple-choice questions, and the practical section contains 2 essay questions. Each section is two hours in length. The Forensic Pathology OCC examination will cover current aspects of Forensic Pathology.
Applications & Payment
The OCC cognitive assessment exam can be taken within three years of your certification’s expiration date. To apply, candidates must submit the required application, fees, written evidence of continuous compliance with the initial requirements for certification in their specialty, and any other supporting documents required by the Board.
|OCC Cognitive Assessment Exam Fee||$900|
|Fee to take any two OCC Exams||$1,550|
|Fee to take any three OCC Exams||$2,350|
|OCC Cognitive Assessment Re-examination Fee||$450 per section|
The written exam will constitute 45% of the final score and the practical examination 55% of the final score.
Failure to achieve a final passing score on the examination shall require the applicant to be reexamined in all parts, unless the applicant failed only one part and only by 10% of the cut score. In such a situation, the Board may allow a candidate to be re-examined only on the part the candidate failed the next time that examination is offered. If the candidate then fails to achieve a passing score, he/she must take the complete examination on subsequent attempts. The fee for re-examination will be set by the Board. Re-examination will be available at the next iteration of testing as scheduled by the AOBPa. For physicians holding time-dated certification, failure to successfully complete the OCC process will result in the loss of certification when their current certification expires.
Compliance With Federal Regulations
The AOBPa complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBPa complies with requirements prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, as well as regulations for Title II and Title III (and all subsequent regulations) as printed in the federal register.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): In compliance with the HIPAA Act of 1996 and any subsequent modifications, the AOBPa ensures that individuals’ health information is properly protected, while allowing the flow of health information to provide and promote high quality health care. Patient confidentiality as defined by HIPAA will be maintained at all times in every exam administered by the AOBPa.