Component 3: Cognitive Assessment


IMPORTANT UPDATE: The AOBP is excited to announce the development of its longitudinal assessment plan for continuous certification scheduled to launch in March 2022. The longitudinal assessment is designed to promote educational learning retention and will provide practice-relevant value to our diplomates. The AOBP will utilize NBOME’s CATALYST learning platform that can be accessed 24/7 by diplomates via computer, tablet or smartphone! This page will continue to be updated as more details of the AOBP Longitudinal Assessment Program becomes available.


To complete Component 3 requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification in the primary specialty of Pediatrics, as well as the subspecialties of Neonatology, Adult & Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, and Sports Medicine, a physician must pass a written examination. Component 1 must be verified prior to the exam. You can view your status for all components of Osteopathic Continuous Certification by logging in to the AOA Physician Portal.

Exam Process: Pediatrics

The Pediatrics OCC Written Exam is offered every spring. It’s a three-hour computer-based exam made up of 150 “choose the one best answer” multiple choice questions. Diplomates may begin taking the exam three years prior to the expiration date of their certification. AOBP exams are evaluated using an absolute standard (pass/fail). Physicians who fail the OCC Written Exam must retake it at the next available opportunity.

3 sections

  • Confirmation/Intro/Instruction
  • Section 1 – 60 minutes
  • Break – 10 minutes (optional)
  • Section 2 – 60 minutes
  • Break – 10 minutes (optional)
  • Section 3 – 60 minutes


The exam will cover all areas of pediatrics as thoroughly as possible, including:

Primary Certification
Pediatric Health Maintenance and Preventative Care 11%
Infectious Diseases 8%
Laboratory, Procedural, and Diagnostic Performance and Interpretation 8%
Neonatal Medicine and Newborn Care 6%
Emergency Medicine and Critical Care 4%
Gastroenterology and Nutrition 4%
Mental Health 4%
Nephrology/Urology 4%
Neurology 4%
Otolaryngology 4%
Sports Medicine and Orthopedics 4%
Adolescent Medicine 3%
Allergy and Immunology 3%
Developmental and Behavioral Health 3%
Hematology and Oncology 3%
Osteopathic Principles and Practice 3%
Pulmonology 3%
Social Determinants of Health 3%
Cardiology 2%
Child Abuse and Neglect 2%
Dermatology 2%
Endocrinology 2%
Epidemiology and Public Health 2%
Genetics and Metabolic Disorders 2%
Ophthalmology 2%
Research Methodology and Quality Improvement 2%
Ethics and Medical Jurisprudence 1%
Pain and Fluid Management and Other Pharmacology 1%

Exam Content: Neonatology

Exam Content Outline
Maternal-fetal medicine 7%
Asphyxia and resuscitation 7%
Cardiovascular 10%
Respiratory 12%
Genetics/dysmorphism 7%
Nutrition/water/salt 10%
Nephrology 2%
Endocrine/metabolic/thermal 6%
Immunology/hematology/oncology 7%
Infectious diseases 7%
Gastroenterology 4%
Bilirubin 2%
Skin disorders 1%
Neurology/development/behavior 9%
Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat and neck 1%
Basic principles of pharmacology 1%
Practicing evidence-based health care 5%
Health services delivery/ethical issues/family counseling 2%

Applications and Payment

The following fee schedule applies to physicians seeking board certification from the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics.

OCC Cognitive Assessment
EXAM Type Fee
OCC—Primary $1,300
OCC—Subspecialty $1,400

Exam Results

If a diplomate passes the OCC Written Exam in a year prior to the year in which the certificate expires, the passing grade will be held and reported to the AOA when all OCC requirements have been met, the new certificate will be valid for 10 years from the date of the expiring certificate. In accordance with the AOBP Standards Review Committee, the Written Exam is reviewed by a psychometrician to verify adherence to rule of practice established in the APA/AERA National Standards for Education and Psychological Testing. Pass and fail decisions are based solely on the content mastery displayed by the diplomate. All exam results are reviewed and approved by the board. Diplomates will be notified no later than 90 days following the board’s decision.

Exam Policies

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.

Rescoring of Exams

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 the AOBP at aobp@osteopathic.org within 30 days of receiving exam results. If the request is for an oral exam, the Appeal Request Form must be submitted within two hours from the completion of the oral exam process.

Right to Appeal

If a candidate feels that actions of the AOBP with regard to any part of the osteopathic continuous certification process constitute unequal application of the Bylaws or Policies and Procedures, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to the board. Appeals to the board can be made by submitting an Appeal Request Form along with any supporting documentary material necessary for proper review of the case. The Appeal Request Form must be submitted within seven days after completion of the exam. The board will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers to exam questions, scoring of the exam, and/or determination of the minimum passing score. Candidates will be advised within 30 days of final action of the board.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The AOBP complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBP 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.