Family Medicine and Obstetrics Oral Examination
The Family Medicine and Obstetrics Oral Examination consists of five cases. The cases presented will be based upon real or hypothetical patients and are similar to cases seen by Family Medicine and Obstetrics physicians in daily practice. The cases are developed using the same reference materials and content domains as the written examination. Candidates are allowed two hours for the examination.
To begin the oral examination, candidates are presented a brief introductory statement regarding a patient’s general condition. The candidate is then asked how he or she would like to proceed. It is important to remember that the oral examination is designed to be a dialogue between the candidate and the presenter. Each case typically requires candidates to address details in each of the following categories:
- History – The candidate should request information regarding any patient medical history relevant to the case, including (but not limited to) onset, location, allergies, medications, past medical history, and surgical history.
- Physical Examination – The candidate should request information regarding the patient’s airway, neck, chest, heart, back, neurological, musculoskeletal, and any other areas applicable to the case.
- Data – The candidate should order appropriate laboratory tests and diagnostic examinations; the Presenter will provide the candidate with the results.
- Management – The candidate should indicate recommended treatment, including non-operative, operative, and post-operative management. The candidate may be asked to provide a rationale.
- Disposition/Pathophysiology—The candidate may be presented with follow-up conditions of the patient, including complications—to which the candidate will be asked to recommend appropriate actions; or the candidate may be asked to describe possible complications/outcomes and appropriate corrective actions. Additionally, other related questions regarding the patient’s condition may be asked.
A candidate’s score on any one case is completely independent of his or her score on any other case. To pass, the candidate must, at a minimum, obtain a total score that equals or exceeds the sum of the threshold scores for the studies. Therefore, it is possible that a candidate may score less than the threshold score for one case, but still pass the examination, provided he or she scores well enough on the remainder of the cases to offset the lower score. Each case contains approximately the same number of possible points. Therefore, the cases are approximately equally weighted in the overall calculation of candidate’s total score.
All ABPS examinations are administered only in English. Responses from candidates to examination questions must be in English for the candidate to be eligible to receive credit toward his or her examination score.
The results are mailed within 45 days of the examination. A careful review of the scoring and analyses of the results is conducted after the examination and before issuing reports, to verify the accuracy and validity of the results.
A candidate may take the oral examination as many as three times in order to pass. Candidates who are not successful in passing both the written and oral examinations within the number of allowable attempts may reapply for certification by completing a new application and meeting all the eligibility requirements in effect at the time the new application is submitted.
Accommodations for Religious Reasons and Disabilities
Click here to see the complete policy for accommodations.