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2020 OB GYN Specialty Certifying Exam FAQs

Posted on April 9, 2020


Many of you are planning to take the 2020 Specialty Certifying Examination (CE) to achieve OB GYN certification. You are busy studying for the exam and preparing your case lists in addition to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to partner with you to help facilitate your OB GYN CE in 2020. To that end, we are modifying policies, application deadlines, and case list guidelines for this year's Specialty CE. The following information addresses many of the modifications made as related to COVID-19. Please contact us at exams@abog.org for any questions not addressed below or for any assistance you may need.



Yes. The 2020-2021 cycle of Specialty CEs is still scheduled over four weeks in November 2020, December 2020, and January 2021. There will be two examination weeks in January.

Yes. The deadline for applying for the Specialty CE is being extended from May 22 to June 22, 2020. In addition, ABOG is eliminating all late fees for 2020 and allowing you to submit the application, the Verification of Hospital Privileges Form(s), and the application fee by June 22, 2020.

Yes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABOG is increasing the allowed weeks of leave during the case collection year from 12 to 24 weeks. Leave includes medical leave, maternity leave, caregiver leave, vacation, furloughs, and other situations. Educational conferences do not count toward the 24 weeks of leave. If you need to take more than 24 weeks of leave associated with COVID-19, contact ABOG at exams@abog.org.

Yes. For this year's OB GYN Specialty CE, we are changing the requirement to be in practice from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Due to COVID-19, ABOG will allow up to 24 weeks (six months) of leave or clinical inactivity. Candidates must have unrestricted privileges to practice Obstetrics and Gynecology during this interval, but the requirement to start by October 1, 2019, will be waived. The restriction to prohibit leave for those who start practice as late as October 1, 2019 will be modified to allow up to a total of 24 weeks of leave, including the late practice starting date.

Yes. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABOG is extending the deadline for case list submission and eliminating the 2020 late fees associated with submitting the case list. There will only be one deadline, August 31, 2020, to upload your Case List Affidavit(s), submit your case list, upload your photograph, and submit the exam fee. You will receive notification describing how to submit these items by July 13, 2020.

You may include COVID-19 patients if you were primarily responsible for their inpatient or outpatient care. You may list them in appropriate OB GYN and Office Practice case list categories. You do not need to list all COVID-19 patients in whose care you participated but did not primarily manage. You do not need to list cases involving care provided to men. Please contact exams@abog.org if you have questions.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABOG is decreasing the required case volume for the 2020 case collection year. For both the Obstetrics and Gynecology section, the minimum number of cases will decrease from 20 to 15. For the Office Practice section, the minimum number of cases will decrease from 40 to 30. For the Office Practice section, the maximum number of cases is still 40.

Candidates may use an 18-month case list for all three sections of the case list in 2020. Additionally, cases from the senior year of your residency may be used for all three sections of the case list. A former fellow may use cases from fellowship. Residency and fellowship cases earlier than July 1, 2012, may not be used. Candidates may list patients seen in the emergency room or triage area of labor and delivery and virtual office visits on their office practice list. If a candidate is unable to meet the minimum number of cases using an 18-month case list and residency cases, they should contact ABOG at exams@abog.org for assistance.

Please submit your case list by the August 31, 2020 deadline. We understand that there may be challenges to getting complete details for some of your patients. For this year's CE, candidates will be allowed to edit the cases after submission and before the CE. Please notify ABOG at exams@abog.org that you need to make edits to your 2020 case list, and we will reopen your case list entry access to allow you to make edits. It may take up to to two business days for your case list to be unlocked for edits.

If you are unable to have your Verification of Hospital Privileges Form(s) or Case List Affidavit completed and signed by the deadline, we will work with you. Please notify ABOG at exams@abog.org.

We understand that you may have applied for this examination and later choose not to take the CE this cycle. If you are unable to take the 2020 Specialty CE due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should email a brief summary of your situation to exams@abog.org. If you have paid for the examination, your fees can either be refunded or applied to 2021. Additionally, your OB GYN certification eligibility period will be extended an additional year.