American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

FAQs

General

1. What is OCC?

Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) is a process in which board certified DOs can maintain currency and demonstrate competency in their specialty area.  The goals for OCC are to provide certified physicians with a process to continually assess and improve their skills and to assure patients and the public that certified physicians are being assessed through reliable and valid measures.

2. Who is required to participate in OCC?

All time-limited certificate holders are required to participate in OCC.

3. Can I remain certified if I don't participate in OCC?

No.  By choosing not to participate in OCC you are voluntarily suspending the rights to your board certification. This applies to those physicians who have a time-limited certificate only.

4. Who has the option of participating?

If you have a non-time-limited certification, you are not required to participate in OCC at this time. We strongly encourage your participation. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has agreed to accept OCC for Maintenance of Licensure (MOL). If you do not participate in OCC, you may have additional requirements for MOL as prescribed by the state(s) where you are licensed. Remember that "non-expiring" is not a lifetime certification. You are required to maintain your license to practice and to maintain AOA membership, which also includes meeting all CME requirements for your specialty.

Getting Started with OCC

1. How do I start OCC for my specialty?

To become an OCC participant, the AOBOG requires each physician to register on the AOBOG.org website. Once you create a user profile, you will be able to register specifically for the OCC process. There is a $150 fee that must be submitted by credit card to the AOBOG with registration per six year OCC cycle. With the registration process, the AOBOG requires each physician to attest to their compliance with OCC Component 1-Unrestricted Licensure, Component 2- Lifelong Learning/Continuing Medical Education, and Component 5- Continuous AOA Membership.  If you are non-compliant in any of these three areas, you will need to provide a detailed written explanation of the circumstances and any corrective action plan taken to the AOBOG.

2. Do I need to register in order to participate?

Yes. Access to all OCC assignments will be withheld until the registration process is complete and the Diplomate has been approved to participate in the OCC process.

3. How can I track my progress on the continuous certification requirements?

The AOA has developed an online platform that can be accessed through www.osteopathic.org in order to track the progress of an OCC cycle. 

4. Are there any new fees associated with the OCC process?

In addition to the $150 fee that must be submitted by credit card to the AOBOG with registration, there is a $295 fee, also to be submitted by credit card, that will provide you two years of unlimited access to the Practice Performance Assessment Modules (Component 4) through our vendor O-CATTM.  Some PPA Modules are available free of charge.  See the Document Library for more information on the Cultural Competency PPA module and the Early Childhood Development PPA module.

Maintaining OCC

1. I have a restricted license.  What happens to my AOA board certification?

A committee under the supervision of the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists has been created that will monitor license suspensions on a case by case basis along with the certifying boards.

2. Do I still have to take an exam?

A formal proctored written examination (previously the recertification examination) is required to be taken and passed once during the six-year OCC cycle. The examination can only be taken during the last 3 years of the OCC cycle.

 How often and when can I take it?

The examination is offered once a year and can be taken in either year 4, 5, or 6 of the OCC cycle until passed.

3. How many Practice Performance Assessments (PPA) will be required? (UPDATED 12/1/2016)

The AOBOG requires a physician to complete 2 PPAs in a 6 year OCC cycle. These 2 PPAs must be completed by September 15th of the year of certificate expiration.

4. Where can I find these PPAs, and how do I register?

There is a link on the aobog.org website to the PPA modules where you will be required to register as a user and then you will have access to available modules to choose from. Each module will be available online through the O-CATTM website. The module will require a physician to log five (5) to ten (10) consecutive cases from the physicians personal practice in the module topic area. The individual physician's module results will be measured against acceptable standards. If the results fall below acceptable thresholds, there will be a required educational activity followed by a reassessment in the same module with new consecutive cases. All physician logged cases are subject to audit.

Since these modules take some time to complete, it is highly recommended each physician begins their required module in the first or second year of the CME cycle.

The AOBOG also accepts the Office of Minority Health's "A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care" and the AOA/Erikson Institute "Early Childhood Development: Enhancing Communication Using the FAN" activities as counting for one PPA module each.  Instructions on how to access these modules are posted in the Document Library on this website.

5. What components need to be completed before I can take the exam?

The AOBOG requires that you must maintain an active license and AOA membership prior to registering for the exam.

6. What if I miss a step and don't complete all of the requirements by the deadlines?

  1. If a physician fails to successfully complete any of the 5 components of OCC, the Diplomate will hold an "expired certificate", i.e. loss of certification will occur as the current time-dated certificate expires. That is, they will no longer be listed as board certified by the AOBOG and AOA, and may not advertise themselves as being board certified.

    1. Physicians reentering the certification process within three (3) years of the expiration of their certification may re-enter the process by sufficing any outstanding OCC requirements not fulfilled when the certification became expired.  The date of certification will be effective on the date that all requirements have been satisfied.
    2. Physicians wishing to re-enter the certification process three (3) or more years following the expiration of their certification must petition the board to re-enter the certification process.  Please refer to the Document Library for further information. 


  2. For physicians whose time-limited certification has been deemed inactive for any reason, they may petition the Certification Compliance Review Committee to reactivate their certification.  This process also applies to non-clinical and academic physicians reentering clinical practice and to former non-time-limited certificate holders who did not maintain their board certification as required.

    1. Physicians reentering the certification process within three (3) years of the inactivation of their certification may re-enter the process by sufficing any outstanding OCC requirements not fulfilled when the certification became inactive.  The date of certification will be effective on the date that all requirements have been satisfied.
    2. Physicians wishing to re-enter the certification process three (3) or more years following the expiration of their certification must petition the board to re-enter the certification process.  Please refer to the Document Library for further information.


    A Diplomate with an untimed inactive certificate will have to enter the OCC certification process by first passing the secure formal proctored written examination. If the physician successfully passes this exam, they can now register for OCC and follow all the rules associated with the process.

Special Cases of OCC

1.  I don't currently practice in my field of certification.  How can I meet the Component 4 requirements? 

The AOBOG does not have any means of providing modules for a physician practicing outside of the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology or one of its subspecialties.  Please contact the AOBOG office for further information.

2.  I don't provide patient care.  How can I meet the OCC requirements?

The AOBOG is developing a module for physicians in the specialty that provides Teaching, Administration/Management, or Research administrative roles in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology only. You will be required to complete this module yearly, five times out of a six year OCC cycle. If you return to patient care, at all, during the six year OCC cycle, you will be required to complete one or more of the patient care modules, depending on when you returned to patient care. You must notify the AOBOG of such a change immediately and provide corroboratory documentation.

OCC Requirements for Certifications Ending In:

 

Component 1

Component 2

Component 3

Component 4

Component 5

2013

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2012 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam

none

AOA Member in good standing 

2014

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2012 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 1 PPA module 
(Fundamentals of Effective Communication)

AOA Member in good standing 

2015

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2015 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communicationi + 1 additional PPA)

AOA Member in good standing 

2016

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2015 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communicationi + 1 additional PPA)

AOA Member in good standing 

2017

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2015 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communicationi + 1 additional PPA)

AOA Member in good standing 

2018

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2018 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communicationi + 1 additional PPA)

AOA Member in good standing 

2019

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2018 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communicationi + 1 additional PPA)

AOA Member in good standing 

2020

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2018 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communication is required if you have not already completed it for a previous OCC cycle) 

AOA Member in good standing 

2021

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2021 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communication is required if you have not already completed it for a previous OCC cycle) 

AOA Member in good standing 

2022

Active License

Have completed the 120 hours 2021 CME cycle with 50 specialty hours

Pass the formal written proctored exam in year 4, 5 or 6 of cycle

Complete 2 PPA modules
(Fundamentals of Effective Communication is required if you have not already completed it for a previous OCC cycle) 

AOA Member in good standing 

 

4.  Who do I contact with questions?

A physician may contact the AOBOG directly for questions related to the OCC process. 

View the Osteopathic Continuous Certification Power Point Presentation.

 

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