Osteopathic Continuous Certification
Rather than being a single event, certification should be a continuous, lifelong process. The American Osteopathic Association’s Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) has mandated that each specialty certifying board implement Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC). OCC will serve as a way in which board-certified DOs can maintain currency and demonstrate competency in their specialty area. The only change to the current osteopathic recertification process is the addition of a Practice Performance Assessment.
Each specialty certifying board has been working to develop OCC with the goal of having implemented the OCC process by Jan. 1, 2013. If you hold a time-limited certificate, you will be required to participate in the five components of the OCC process in order to maintain your osteopathic board certification.
Five Components of OCC
COMPONENT 1 – Unrestricted Licensure:
Requires that physicians who are board-certified by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) hold a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in one of the 50 states. In addition, these physicians are required to adhere to the AOA’s Code of Ethics.
COMPONENT 2 – Lifelong Learning/Continuing Medical Education:
Consistent with your current commitment to lifelong learning, this component requires that all recertifying physicians fulfill a minimum of 120 hours of continuing medical education (CME) credit during each three-year CME cycle — though some certifying boards have higher requirements. Of these 120+ CME credit hours, a minimum of 50 credit hours must be in the specialty area of certification. Self-assessment activities will be designated by each of the specialty certifying boards.
COMPONENT 3 – Cognitive Assessment:
Requires provision of one (or more) psychometrically valid and proctored examinations that assess a physician’s specialty medical knowledge, as well as core competencies in the provision of health care.
COMPONENT 4 – Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement:
Requires that you engage in continuous quality improvement through comparison of personal practice performance measured against national standards for your medical specialty.
COMPONENT 5 – Continuous AOA Membership:
Membership in the professional osteopathic community through the AOA provides you with online technology, practice management assistance, national advocacy for DOs and the profession, access to professional publications, and continuing medical education opportunities.