Oral Exam


In order to take the AOBS Oral Exam for primary certification in Cardiothoracic Surgery, the physician candidate must:

  • Successfully pass the Written Exam for primary certification in Cardiothoracic Surgery.
  • Be deemed program complete by the American Osteopathic Association.
  • Demonstrate eligibility for examination in any other manner required by the board.


In order to sit for the Oral Exam, you must:

  • Submit a completed application and required documentation prior to the application deadline.
  • Submit all required payments prior to application deadline.

All required application documents and materials must be submitted, reviewed and approved two weeks (14 days) prior to the exam administration date.

Exam Fees

An exam fee of $1,500 must be submitted with your completed application. No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. All cancellations must be made in writing. Exam cancellations received 30 days or more prior to the exam date will be refunded less a $500 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received within 30 days of the exam date.

Oral Examination Transfer Fees

Once registered for the Oral Examination, Candidates will be given a one time transfer, only for extenuating circumstances that must be approved by the Board. All unapproved transfer requests will be considered as a forfeit. All approved transfers must test during the next oral exam administration. No further transfers will be allowed, and no refunds will be provided.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

Fall 2024 Oral In-Person Examination
Exam date: Sept. 25, 2024 (in-person in Orlando, Florida)
Exam opens: March 1, 2024
First application Deadline: July 25, 2024
Final deadline: Aug. 9, 2024 (applications close)

Exam Content

Candidates taking the AOBS Oral Exam will be provided with patient cases detailing presenting problems and statements made by the patient, laboratory reports and radiographic studies appropriate to the etiology of the condition. Candidates will be asked to offer initial/suspected possible diagnoses, interpretation of labs and imaging studies, differential diagnosis, proposed treatment options, case management and possible troubleshooting. The exam will be designed to evaluate judgment processes and ability to solve clinical problems. In accordance with the AOBS Standards Review Committee, the Oral Exam process is reviewed by a psychometrician who determines the process to be psychometrically sound and defensible, and who follows the rules of practice established in the APA/AERA National Standards for Education and Psychological Testing. Pass and fail outcomes are based solely on the mastery of content displayed by the candidate.

Exam Scoring

The AOBS sets passing standards for the Oral 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. AOBS will notify each candidate of exam results within 90 days of the exam.

Exam Failure

Following an initial or second failure of the AOBS Oral Exam, the following rules apply:

  • The candidate may apply for re-examination and pay the required fees.
  • The candidate must re-take the exam within a two-year period following the initial or second failure. If the candidate fails to take the exam within this period, the candidate’s file will be considered inactive. Any further applications shall be considered new actions at the discretion of the board.

Following a third failure in the written qualifying and/or oral certifying examination, the candidate may apply for reexamination upon successful completion of a board review course. The applicant must provide documentation of course completion prior to retaking the oral examination. Remediation does not guarantee passage of the examination process.