Component 3: Cognitive Assessment


To complete Component 3 requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification in the primary specialty of physical medicine & rehabilitation, a physician must pass an oral examination every 10 years.

Exam Process

Diplomates with time-limited certification must take and pass a secure, proctored, oral examination every ten years to maintain certification. Exams are held once per year, typically in the fall during the AOA’s OMED conference. Diplomates with non-time-limited certification are not required to participate in OCC, but are encouraged to do so.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation OCC Exam

The OCC exam in physical medicine and rehabilitation is an oral exam.

Based on results from the task analysis survey and expert judgment, following are the categories assessed and the cases within the categories. Each candidate is assessed on nine cases. The candidate is allowed to select two of the categories on which he or she will be assessed, meaning a total of six cases are self-selected. Three cases will be selected from each of these two categories. All candidates will be tested on three cases from the General PMR Cases.

Category A

  • Rehabilitation of brain dysfunction, including stroke
  • Prosthetics/Orthotics
  • Spine/Spinal Cord Injury

Category B

  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Industrial/Occupational
  • MSK/Sports/Pain

Category C

  • Rehabilitation of joint connective tissue disease
  • Nerve and muscle disease rehabilitation


AOA reports certification results using standardized scores. Examination results are reported on a scale of 200 to 800 and an overall scaled score of 500 or greater is required to pass. The passing standard is determined by subject matter expert osteopathic physicians who practice in the field of the specialty. The passing standard is approved by the respective board.

Content area scores are provided as informative feedback when possible. No minimal requirement is set for performance outcomes for the content area scores. Content area scores are not used to compute your total test score or to determine your performance outcome.

Applications & Payment


OCC Certification
EXAM Type Fee
OCC Cognitive Assessment Exam Fee $500
OCC Cognitive Assessment Late Fee $150
OCC Cognitive Assessment Re-examination Fee $750

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The AOBPMR is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1992. If a candidate has a disability and requests accommodation in taking an exam, the candidate must submit a questionnaire application and documentation, and the Board will make a reasonable effort to provide necessary aids or services that do not alter the measurement of skills and knowledge that the exam is intended to test, and does not result in undue burden upon the Board.

In its examination processes, the Board will not require candidates to provide, nor will it use, any protected health information, and is obligated to remain compliant with HIPAA (Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act).

The AOBPMR does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, creed, sex, age, country of origin, country or sexual orientation.