OSTEOPATHIC BOARD CERTIFICATION

Component 3: Cognitive Assessment

Overview

To complete Component 3 requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification in the primary specialties of Anatomic Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, a physician must pass a written examination once per 10-year OCC cycle.

Exam Process

The AOBPa offers OCC Written Exams in the primary specialties of Anatomic Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the subspecialty of Forensic Pathology. Each OCC exam includes a written and practical section. Exams are offered twice each year, generally in the spring and fall.

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 table below outlines the content areas covered by the exam.

OCC Exam: Anatomic Pathology
CATEGORY CATEGORY PERCENT
Gastrointestinal (includes GI tract, liver, pancreas, gallbladder) 22%
Head and Neck (excludes Neuropathology) 5%
Genitourinary (includes male reproductive) 6%
Endocrine 4%
Administrative, Inspection, and DO Viewpoint 8%
Neuropathology 3%
Breast 12%
Cardiovascular 3%
Lung and Respiratory Tract (includes pleura) 6%
Dermatopathology 13%
Soft Tissue, Bones, and Joints 5%
Obstetrical and Gynecologic 13%

Laboratory Medicine OCC Exam

The below table outlines the content areas covered by the exam.

OCC Exam: Laboratory Medicine
CATEGORY PERCENT
Laboratory Management 10%
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 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 Certification
EXAM Type Fee
OCC Application $50
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

Exam Results

The written exam will constitute 45% of the final score and the practical examination 55% of the final score.

Exam Failure

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.