Moving forward

Osteopathic certification board nixes 10-year OCC exam for 2019

The American Osteopathic Board of Radiology is one of the first DO certifying boards to cut the high-stakes test and revise CME requirements.

The American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (AOBR) announced it is piloting a new format for cognitive assessment. Diplomates whose certificate expires in 2019 will not need to take the 10-year OCC examination.

The pilot program includes a decrease in the number of CME hours, requiring 60 CME credits in the specialty over the course of the three year AOA CME cycle. Previously, 120 CME credits were required to maintain board certification.

“The osteopathic certifying boards are focused on meeting the needs of practicing physicians by providing lifelong learning that is convenient and cost-effective. Radiology is one of the first to address its diplomates’ concerns with OCC. Its physician leadership concluded that a high-stakes test every decade was a significant pain point that didn’t demonstrably improve patient care,” says Dan Williams, DO, AOA vice president for certifying boards.

The 18 AOA certifying boards have a mandate to evolve board certification to ensure that it reinforces and continues osteopathic training, says AOA President Mark A. Baker, DO.

“AOA board certification keeps DOs connected to the osteopathic philosophy of whole-person care that many embrace in their practices. Our diplomates have a strong sense of community and collaborate to improve patient care and maintain a standard of excellence. The changes underway will ensure that board certification enhances their careers through meaningful, highly relevant learning opportunities,” Dr. Baker explains.

To learn more about AOA board certification, visit


  1. Dr. E Hargis

    Kudos to the Radiology Board for working to progress continuing certification! As technology and communication have rapidly advanced so to should we move to meaningful (and cost effective) strategies for maintenance of certification. The draconian and expensive process of taking marathon tests many years apart is better left in the past. I hope to see this spread to all specialties to improve meaningful and clinically relevant continuous certification. I believe, also, that this will improve retention of physicians who prefer to let their certification lapse rather than paying the costs and enduring the difficulties of the current process.

  2. VJ

    Everyone knows that this is simply a money grab from the various boards, it does nothing to improve patient care, and all DOs should speak up against these barbaric “tests”. For maintenance of certification, we should instead do relevant clinical practical CMEs only! We should no longer accept this abuse.

  3. Marianne

    May all the boards follow the lead of our radiolgy colleagues. The ability to study for and sit for a
    Lengthy exam will not make me a better/more current bedside practitioner!

  4. Dr. Rob Kominiarek DO FACOFP

    It’s about damn time! I have taken these irrelevant, antiquated, non-collegial re- certification exams 3 times now for the sole purpose of lining someone else’s pocket. And to waste a Saturday afternoon sitting in some nondescript testing facility with auto mechanics and hairdressers. Way to go AOBFP! Re-certification provides nothing in return. No higher reimbursement, no improved patient care, no protection from medieval medical boards or lawsuits. Other than to say I took a test some stupid test AGAIN that you have to purposely pick the WRONG answer to pass the test because the material is not even current with evidence based medicine. Seriously, taking a certification exam ONCE is more than enough! It worked well enough for those that graduated prior to 1995. Just keeping up with CME, while running a practice and raising a family is difficult enough. It is time for ALL certification boards to follow the radiology board! Long overdue.

  5. ARF

    This was also done by other boards (AOBP) have also piloted a program that will eliminate a MOC test but kudos for at least radiology for getting it recognized enough for other boards to see these possibilities. The path to healing is found on the path of osteopathy!!!

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