Examination Details

  • Dates/Location

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    The Subspecialty examination in Pain Medicine will be offered on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the AOA Office, which is located at 142 E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL.

  • Fees/Deadlines

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    The initial examination fee of $1300 is required at the time of application. The OCC examination fee of $400 is required at the time of application. The initial application deadline is February 9, 2018. A late fee of $100 will be required for all applications submitted between February 10, 2018 and March 9, 2018. All cancellations must be made in writing. Exam fees will be refunded if cancellation is received by April 19, 2018 less a $300 administrative fee (for initial examination) or a $150 administrative fee (for OCC examination).

  • Administration of the Examination

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    The 2018 American Osteopathic Conjoint Pain Medicine Subspecialty Examination is a paper-and-pencil examination administered annually. The Pain Medicine Subspecialty Certification Examination is composed entirely of multiple-choice type questions. There will be a total of 225 questions on the examination including 25 pre-test questions. The 25 pre-test questions are “tryout” questions and are not intended to count as “scoreable”. These pre-test questions will be randomly dispersed throughout the exam in no particular order. The Pain Medicine Subspecialty Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) Examination will also be composed entirely of 100 multiple-choice type questions. Any question can contain tables and visual stimuli. Test questions are scored as right or wrong and all scored questions count equally. A criterion-referenced passing standard will be set and used to determine if candidates pass or fail. The passing standard is held constant over repeated examination administrations. The method helps to ensure that a candidate’s pass/fail status is based on what the candidate knows and can demonstrate on the examination and not other candidates testing at the same time. Secure procedures are used to administer the examination. All examinations are proctored. Candidates requiring accommodations should contact the American Osteopathic Association, division of Certifying Board Services.

  • Preparation

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    No specific recommendation regarding study methods or review courses may be made. However, the detailed exam table of specification is available.

  • Results

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    Candidates will be informed of the results of the examination within 90 days following the examination date. Successful candidates will receive a certificate for Certification of Added Qualifications in Pain Medicine notating an expiration date of ten years thereafter. The certificate will be awarded after the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists gives final approval of the exam process for each candidate. This approval process may take about three months following the notification of successful completion of the examination.

  • Re-examination

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    Candidates may reapply for the next scheduled examination upon submitting a letter of intent, updated application information and the re-examination fee which will be forthcoming. The overall CME hours and those specifically in Pain Medicine that are required when you re-apply will be pro-rated based on the number of years post-fellowship training.

Categories Percentage of Test Questions
I. Comprehensive Osteopathic Assessment of Pain 23-27% 
II. Osteopathic Manipulation 3-7% 
II. Therapeutic Measures /Modalities 28-32% 
IV. Regional Pain 20-24%  
V. Diffuse Pain Syndromes 5-9% 
VI. Special Populations 9-13% 

View and Print Table of Specifications here