AOBP announces cancellation of Neonatology Primary Certification Exam VIEW MORE

Written Exam


The following training requirements must be completed before a candidate may sit for the Written Exam for subspecialty certification in Neonatology:

  • Hold active pediatrics certification through the AOBP.
  • Complete AOA-approved or ACGME-accredited subspecialty residency/fellowship training, as follows:
    • If training was completed after Jan. 1, 1990: 3 years of subspecialty training.
    • If training was completed between Jan. 1, 1980 and Dec. 31, 1989: 2 years of subspecialty training and one year of subspecialty practice.
    • If training was completed before Jan. 1, 1980: 1 year of subspecialty training and 2 years of subspecialty practice.
  • Conform to the AOA Code of Ethics.


Once training requirements for eligibility are met, candidates must submit the following:

  • A completed application.
  • Required fees.
  • A copy of the fellowship training certificate and a letter of recommendation from your program director. Note that senior fellows must have completed 80% of program rotations to take the Neonatology Written Exam.
  • If three or more years have passed since you completed residency or fellowship training, please submit documentation that you’ve met state licensing CME requirements during that time.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $1,700 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid.

Applications for the spring Neonatology Written Exam must be submitted by Feb. 1 to avoid incurring a $300 late fee. If you submit your application less than 30 days before the exam date, the late fee increases to $800. No applications will be accepted two weeks before the exam date.

All cancellations must be made in writing at least 15 full days before the examination date. Candidates who cancel an exam will have the examination fee refunded, less a $300 processing fee.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The Neonatology Written Exam is offered on an as-needed basis. To learn more, contact the AOBP at aobp@osteopathic.org.

Exam Content Outline

The Neonatology Written Exam tests the knowledge and understanding of basic science and clinical knowledge, skills and principles critical to the practice of Neonatology. The exam uses a multiple choice format to evaluate academic knowledge in the following areas:

Subspecialty Certification: Neonatology
  1. Maternal-fetal medicine
  2. Asphyxia and resuscitation
  3. Cardiovascular
  4. Respiratory
  5. Genetics/dysmorphism
  6. Nutrition/water/salt
  7. Nephrology
  8. Endocrine/metabolic/thermal
  9. Immunology/hematology/oncology
  10. Infectious diseases
  11. Gastroenterology
  12. Bilirubin
  13. Skin disorders
  14. Neurology/development/behavior
  15. Ear, eyes, nose, throat, mouth and neck
  16. Basic principles of pharmacology
  17. Practicing evidence-based health care
  18. Health services delivery/ethical issues/family counseling
  • 7%
  • 7%
  • 10%
  • 12%
  • 7%
  • 10%
  • 2%
  • 6%
  • 7%
  • 7%
  • 4%
  • 2%
  • 1%
  • 9%
  • 1%
  • 1%
  • 5%
  • 2%

Exam Scoring

The AOBP sets passing standards for the Written Exam using a measurement model known as “criterion-referenced standard setting.” Using this model, the board specifies the particular content and level of content difficulty necessary to be considered a passing candidate.

All examination results will be reviewed by the board. Candidates are informed of results by mail 90 days after the exam.

Rescoring of Examinations

Candidates may request that the AOBP psychometrician manually review the computer scoring of the exam. Requests for review of the written exam must be submitted in writing to AOBP at aobp@osteopathic.org within 30 days of receiving exam results. If the request is for an oral exam, the appeals must be submitted within two hours from the completion of the oral exam process.

Exam Failure

Candidates who do not pass any certifying examination may apply for reexamination and must take the exam on the next available date. The reexamination fee is identical to the examination fee. The certification exam can be taken yearly until board eligibility expires. Candidates who do not succeed in becoming certified by the end of the first re-entry into the certification process must petition the AOBP in order to enter the final certification pathway.