Jump to content

COVID-19 Updates

Page last updated February 3, 2021



ABOG is actively monitoring the ongoing spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will post updates to this page. We also have COVID-19 related FAQs that are kept up to date. Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most up-to-date information on the virus.

2020 Specialty Certifying Exam Update


As of February 3, 2021


Due to local COVID-19 restrictions in some areas and a major snowstorm that hit the Northeast this week, a pool of Specialty CE candidates had their exams cancelled. ABOG is offering an alternative to the affected candidates. Read the full update here.





COVID-19 MOC Accommodations for 2021


As of February 1, 2021


The evolving COVID pandemic continues to impact ABOG diplomates and the entire health care system. Thus, ABOG will continue all pandemic response measures for the 2021 MOC year.


View the 2021 MOC COVID-19 Updates.




COVID-19 Accommodations for Exams in 2021 and 2022 Cycles


As of January 29, 2021


Due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, ABOG is instituting accommodations for exams in the 2021 and 2022 exam cycles. Click here for the complete list of accommodations. Bulletins have been updated to reflect these accommodations.  




ABOG Will Administer Subspecialty Certifying Exams Through Virtual Delivery Platform in April


As of January 5, 2021


ABOG’s priority is the safety and well-being of candidates, examiners, and ABOG staff. The distribution of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has begun across the country; however, there are emerging challenges to achieving necessary nationwide vaccination rates.  There are also unanticipated increases in new COVID-19 infections, rates of hospitalizations, and deaths in many areas.  Given the uncertainties ahead in the next few months, we do not feel that it is safe yet to administer in-person Subspecialty Certifying Examinations (CEs) in April in Dallas.  


ABOG will administer the Subspecialty CEs through a virtual exam delivery platform. Depending on the subspecialty, exam dates remain as follows:


  • April 12-14 Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
  • April 12-15 Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • April 19-21 Gynecologic Oncology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery


ABOG continues to prioritize delivery of a fair, valid, and reliable examination. We have been working to develop the capability to deliver the unique format of our CEs in a virtual platform.  Candidates will be receiving instructions and guidance soon to enable them to technically prepare for and take the virtual Subspecialty CE.


If candidates would prefer not to take the CE in April 2021 and instead move to the 2022 CE cycle, they will be allowed to reschedule into the 2022 examination cycle at no additional cost.


Questions regarding this topic should be emailed to exams@abog.org.



ABOG Adds a Second Date for 2020 Specialty Certifying Exam


As of December 18, 2020


Because of increased indoor capacity restrictions in some states due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABOG has added a second examination date for the 2020 Specialty Certifying Exam (CE). In addition to the February 2, 2021 exam date, we also will be administering the exam on May 11, 2021. All exams will continue to be administered through Pearson VUE Professional Centers.


Based on current case modeling projections and despite recent news about Emergency Use Authorization of vaccinations, we have concerns about the ability of candidates to take the examination on February 2, 2021. We have worked with Pearson VUE (PV) to determine what effect COVID-19 will have on seats for the examination, but at this time, it is difficult for anyone to predict if the centers will have to decrease capacity. If that does occur in a PV center, candidates will be selected at random by Pearson VUE and ABOG will be unable to influence who is able to the take the exam. If you choose to keep your current February 2 reservation and capacity reductions require you to reschedule, ABOG will work with you to move your appointment. We will reach out directly to impacted candidates if this situation arises.


Key Points:

  • Candidates who prefer to take the CE on May 11, 2021 may login to their Pearson VUE accounts and change their reservations. At this time, candidates are not required to change their current dates.
  • Candidates who are registered for the exam on February 2 but are unable to attend due to COVID-19 or other circumstances beyond their control will be able to take the examination on May 11 instead. You must contact the ABOG office by February 2, 2021 if you are unable to attend the examination and have not changed your appointment prior to that day.
  • Candidates will not be allowed to take the multiple-choice examination more than once in 2021. If a candidate takes the Feb. 2 exam and is unsuccessful, they will be not be allowed to take the exam again in May.
  • The block of seats for the May 11 examination will be released on February 10, 2021. Candidates should make every effort to select their preferred exam date as soon as possible to improve the chances that they will be able to book at their preferred testing center.
  • Candidates with approved accommodations or lactation requests who want to move to the May 11 exam date must contact the Pearson VUE Accommodations team again at 800-466-0450 to reschedule. Rescheduling without first contacting Pearson VUE, will result in loss of current accommodation.
  • Regardless of the date of your examination, results will be available no later than six weeks after the administration of your exam. For the February 2 exam, results will be available by March 19; for the May 11 exam, results will be available by June 22.


Questions regarding the 2020 Specialty Certifying Exam and the addition of a May 11, 2021 exam date should be sent to exams@abog.org.




ABOG Town Hall Scheduled for December 18 for April 2021 Subspecialty CE Candidates



As of December 21, 2020

The Town Hall webinar recording regarding the April 2021 CE is available.


As of December 16, 2020


ABOG will host a Town Hall webinar on Dec. 18 at 5pm CST to answer questions regarding the April 2021 Subspecialty Certifying Exam. If you have not yet signed up to attend this webinar, click here to register.


If you have questions you would like addressed during the webinar, please email exams@abog.org with the subject line "December Town Hall."


We understand how busy you are, so if you cannot attend, please know the webinar will be recorded and made available on ABOG.org. An email with a link to the recording will be distributed to all candidates subsequent to the webinar.





Extension of Eligibility for Certification


As of December 15, 2020


As part of its COVID-19 response efforts, ABOG has established a policy automatically extending eligibility for candidates who are currently eligible for initial OB GYN and subspecialty certification. This policy applies to physicians who have graduated from residency and/or fellowship and whose eligibility for certification has not previously expired. Candidates whose limits of eligibility have not expired before December 31, 2020 will have their eligibility extended automatically by two years. This extension applies to any eligible candidates, regardless of their status in the ABOG certification process. No action is required on the part of candidates. This extension of current certification eligibility applies to:


  • OB GYN (specialty) certification candidates
  • Subspecialty (FPMRS, GO, MFM, and REI) certification candidates
  • Candidates who have reestablished specialty certification eligibility as outlined in the ABOG Regaining Eligibility policies


To read the entire COVID-19 Eligibility Extension policy, click here. To review specific examples relative to year of graduation or approval year for regained eligibility and corresponding extensions, click here.


To submit questions regarding extension of eligibility, email exams@abog.org.




Webinars Regarding 2020 Specialty Certifying Exam Format


As of October 16, 2020


View the links to the webinars held on October 13 below, as well as the transcripts and the presentation slides. The FAQs and the bulletin will be updated soon. The current bulletin may be used for the exam blueprint.




As of October 7, 2020


Two webinars are scheduled for October 13, 2020 to provide information and answer questions regarding the 2020 Specialty CE Exam format change. Candidates should look for an updated email distributed at 1:21pm CST on Oct. 7 to register for either the 1pm CST or 7pm CST webinar. If the 1pm session is at capacity, we encourage candidates to register for the 7pm event. Both webinars will be recorded and made accessible to all candidates subsequent to both sessions. 




 Format Change for 2020 Specialty Certifying Exam

As of October 6, 2020

ABOG will transition its 2020 cycle of Specialty Certifying Examinations (CEs) from oral, in-person examinations over four weeks in January and February 2021 to a computer-based examination on February 2, 2021.


This is a temporary, one-year change in format to prioritize safety and minimize health risks for candidates, examiners, and staff due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.


ABOG reviewed options for delivery of these CEs, including virtual administration, postponement, and cancellation. Critical operational and logistical obstacles and uncertainties with these options were not resolvable, and a computer-based assessment was determined to be the most safe, secure, and timely choice.


This examination will still assess the breadth of the specialty, including obstetrics, gynecology, and office practice. It will be composed of multiple-choice, clinically based questions created following the Specialty CE blueprint (Bulletin). Although this CE will be in a different format, it will be psychometrically sound, relevant, and fair. The examination will assess the knowledge, judgment, and skills to practice as a specialist, and it will be 30% obstetrics, 30% gynecology, 30% office practice, and 10% cross content.


The CE will take up to four hours, and it will be administered at Pearson VUE test centers. ABOG also will be reviewing practice case lists to ensure they meet standards for the CE as outlined on pages 15-27 of the 2020 Specialty CE Bulletin.


If candidates would prefer not to take this computer-based examination, they can contact us at exams@abog.org. We will move their registration to the 2021 CE cycle, which will be in-person. They may use the same case lists, and their 2020 fees paid will be automatically credited toward the 2021 CE. If they prefer to withdraw from the CE and receive a refund, they can contact us with that request.


For the 2021 CE cycle, ABOG plans to resume administering in-person, oral examinations of the clinical knowledge, judgment, and skills to achieve certification.


To address candidates’ questions and provide guidance about the types of questions and content of the CE, ABOG will host a webinar for them on October 13, 2020. Candidates will be sent an invitation and details about the webinar on October 7. For candidates unable to attend, this webinar will be recorded and available on the ABOG website.


We have posted frequently asked questions on abog.org for additional reference. Any additional questions can be submitted to the Exams Department at exams@abog.org.




Exam Dates for 2021 Subspecialty Certifying Exams

As of August 18, 2020


ABOG rescheduled the 2020 Subspecialty Certifying Exams (CE) to April 2021. Due to the number of candidates being examined in 2021, we will administer the examinations to 2020 and 2021 candidates over a two-week period: 


  • April 12-14, 2021 Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Exams
  • April 12-15, 2021 Maternal-Fetal Medicine Exams 
  • April 19-21, 2021 Gynecologic Oncology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Exams 


Candidates will be notified approximately 4-6 weeks prior to their examination week of the specific date and time of their examinations.  Hotel reservation information also will be provided at that time.   


Candidates should keep contact information current in the ABOG portal to facilitate timely communication about the CE. Candidates can log in to the portal anytime to verify or update contact information. 


If unable to take the exam during the assigned examination week due to COVID-19, candidates should email exams@abog.org. Please review the following and advise in the email of your preference:  


  • You may have the fees you paid credited toward the 2022 exam. You will be allowed to use your case list and thesis in 2022.  
  • You may withdraw from this exam and receive a full refund of fees. 


Candidates who are unable to take the Subspecialty CE in 2021 due to COVID-19 will have their eligibility for certification extended by one year. Email exams@abog.org with questions or for assistance. 




2020 Specialty and Subspecialty Certifying Exams Rescheduled

As of July 20, 2020


It is with significant regret that we announce that the Subspecialty Certifying Examinations (CE) and the Specialty Certifying Examinations originally scheduled for November and December 2020 are being rescheduled into 2021.


There are major increases of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the nation and mounting projections of continued surges into the fall. Facing this uncertainty, we sought expert input from national OB GYN and public health leaders and concluded that it is not safe to administer an in-person examination in 2020. Additionally, despite investigating multiple virtual options, we are not able to deliver the examination virtually in 2020.


We are rescheduling the 2020 Specialty CE November and December exams into the following weeks:

  • January 11-14, 2021
  • January 25-28, 2021
  • February 15-18, 2021
  • February 22-25, 2021


The 2020 Subspecialty CE will be rescheduled into April 2021. Final plans will be announced as soon as hotel and vendor availability are determined.


It pains us to take this step as we understand how hard candidates prepare for this examination. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABOG has worked to ensure we are not putting candidates, volunteers, or staff at risk in order to administer our certification examinations.


We have been exploring multiple options over the last several months to administer the CE safely in Dallas or virtually. We fully investigated using Zoom or a similar platform and worked with a test delivery company to try to administer a virtual CE. There are important aspects of our CEs that complicate platform development and programming. Despite our best efforts, there remain insurmountable technical obstacles to successfully deliver the CE virtually this year. We understand the frustration that this presents for all whom this affects, and we apologize for the delays this causes for the candidates pursuing certification. Please know that we are continuing to work with the testing company as our objective is to have the capability to deliver examinations virtually in the future.


We have FAQs for both Specialty and Subspecialty candidates available. However, please email exams@abog.org with additional questions or call 214.721.7520.





2020 Specialty and Subspecialty Certifying Exams Update


As of July 1, 2020


ABOG has been monitoring and evaluating the COVID-19 pandemic trends and working to determine the safest way to proceed with the 2020 Certifying Examination (CE) cycle for Specialty and Subspecialty Candidates.


With everyone’s health and well-being in mind, we are reviewing many options, including the format, location, and timing for the Certifying Examinations. Details will be forthcoming as plans are finalized. We understand the importance of certification to all the candidates, and ABOG does not want to put anyone at risk of contracting and possibly spreading COVID-19 in the certification process.


As we all continue to navigate pandemic challenges and uncertainties, ABOG is committed to administering certification examinations that will be safe, fair, and valid for everyone. For questions regarding the 2020 CE, please email exams@abog.org.






Q&A Sessions with Residency and Fellowship Program Directors and Managers About 2020 Qualifying Exam

As of June 4, 2020


Update as of June 9, 2020: The fellowship transcript has been updated with a correction to an answer.


Webinar Q&A sessions were held for residency and fellowship Program Directors and Managers on May 20, 2020. ABOG leadership answered questions during each session about the 2020 Specialty and Subspecialty Qualifying Exam date change.



  • Watch the full webinar here.
  • Read a transcript of the Q&As here.



  • Watch the full webinar here.
  • Read the transcript of the Q&As here. (Updated June 9, 2020)






MOC's May Articles Are Incentivized for Quicker Completion

As of May 29, 2020

To help ease some of the stress that diplomates are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, ABOG is implementing the following measures:


  • All but one of the May release articles have been designated as incentivized so that diplomates have fewer articles to read.
  • Each incentivized article has 8 questions to complete (instead of the usual 4). So, diplomates will read half the number of articles to complete the requirement.
    • Example: If you have read 10 articles and answered 40 questions already, you will only have 10 incentivized articles left to read for the year and 80 questions to complete. Normally you would have to read 20 articles to answer 80 questions. 


  • Eight COVID-19 articles have been added to the article list: six in the Emerging Topics category and two in the MFM category.
  • There will not be an August article release as subspecialists will be able to complete their article requirements using the incentivized process.


Review the FAQs for more details on this topic, plus other COVID-19 related topics. Questions? Email moc@abog.org.








2020 Specialty and Subspecialty Qualifying Exams and Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Exams Rescheduled

As of May 15, 2020


Out of an an abundance of caution for health and safety and to help ensure fairness to all candidates, the 2020 Specialty and Subspecialty Qualifying Examinations (QE) and the PAG Focused Practice Examination will be moved from the June dates to July 16, 2020. All candidates' schedules will be transitioned today by Pearson VUE. Candidates should check their Pearson VUE accounts to ensure that their appointments have been moved. View full details in this announcement


FAQs can be viewed here.


If you have questions, please contact exams@abog.org.





Modification of FLS Certification Standard for Academic Year 2021 Graduates


As of May 11, 2020

The Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) Certification Standard for academic year 2020-2021 OB GYN graduates has been modified. Due to extended closures of FLS test centers across the country, physicians affected by these closures will be permitted to take the 2021 OB GYN Qualifying Exam without having completed FLS certification. These physicians will be required to provide FLS certification documentation to become active candidates for the OB GYN Specialty Certifying Examination. Read the full details of the modified standard and contact exams@abog.org with questions. Also available: FLS FAQs and a video.





Modifications for 2021 Subspecialty Certifying Exam

As of April 30, 2020


Candidates are facing new challenges and managing competing professional and personal priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we empathize with them during this stressful time. Please know that we will not administer an in-person exam if doing so will endanger candidates, volunteers, or staff. Your health and well-being, as well as the well-being of those with whom we work is  paramount and will always be our priority.


We have made the following modifications for the 2021 Subspecialty CE requirements, deadlines, and fees to include:

  • Increasing the amount of leave time allowed during case collection from 12 to 24 weeks
  • Extending the application deadline from June 30 to July 31, 2020
  • Eliminating all late fees associated with the application submission process


The application for the 2021 Subspecialty CE opens on May 1, 2020, and the exam is scheduled for April 12-16, 2021.


The 2021 Subspecialty Bulletins have been updated to reflect the changes outlined above. Find more details regarding these 2021 CE modifications in our 2021 Subspecialty CE FAQs.





Q&A Sessions with Residency Program Directors and Managers About COVID-19 Policy

As of April 30, 2020


Webinar Q&A sessions were held for residency Program Managers on April 23, 2020 and for residency Program Directors on April 27, 2020. ABOG leadership answered questions during each session about the Specialty and Subspecialty Certification Standards COVID-19 Policy.


Program Managers: 

Watch the full webinar here.

Read a transcript of the Q&As here.


Program Directors:

Watch the full webinar here.

Read the transcript of the Q&As here.





2020 Subspecialty Certifying Exam (CE) Updates

As of April 24, 2020


ABOG has rescheduled the 2020 Subspecialty CE. The new dates are November 16-19, 2020.

ABOG will notify candidates as quickly as possible regarding their specific exam dates and hotel reservation information. Please ensure contact information is current in our system so that you receive timely notifications. Candidates can log in anytime to verify contact information. Please know that we will not administer an in-person exam if doing so will endanger candidates, volunteers, or staff. Your health and well-being, as well as the well-being of those with whom we work is paramount and will always be our priority.


If a candidate is unable to take the exam during the week of November 16-19, email exams@abog.org. Please review the following and advise ABOG in the email of your preference:

  • Fees already paid can be credited toward the 2021 exam, and candidates can use the same case list and thesis in 2021. 
  • Or, withdraw from the exam completely and receive a full refund of fees.

Anyone unable to take the Subspecialty CE in 2020 will have their eligibility extended by one year.


Please review our FAQs for full details on this topic. For further questions or assistance, email exams@abog.org









2020 Specialty Certifying Exam Updates

As of April 9, 2020


We want to work with candidates whose goal is still to take the 2020 Specialty Certification Examination (CE) this fall. To assist in meeting your goal, ABOG has modified the CE deadlines, fees, and case list requirements. Key modifications include:


  • Extending the application deadline from May 22 to June 22, 2020.
  • Eliminating all late fees associated with the application and case list submission process.
  • Reducing the required case volume for the 2020 case collection year.
  • Extending the case list submission deadline from August 17, 2020 to August 31, 2020.


The 2020 Specialty Certifying Bulletin has been updated to reflect these changes, and you can also find more details regarding these 2020 CE modifications in our 2020 Specialty Certifying Examination FAQs.


Please know that we will not administer an in-person exam if doing so will endanger candidates, volunteers, or staff. Your health and well-being, as well as the well-being of those with whom we work is paramount and will always be our priority.


If you decide not to take the 2020 CE this cycle, please contact us to help you reschedule for next year or plan for a future year.   


We know you are extremely busy helping to manage the COVID-19 health crisis, and we want to partner with you and assist you to become certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Please contact us at exams@abog.org with any questions regarding the 2020 CE or other certification issues. 





Q&A with Fellowships About COVID-19 Policy

As of April 9, 2020


A webinar Q&A was held on April 7, 2020 to answer questions that fellowship Program Directors and Managers had about the Specialty and Subspecialty Certification Standards COVID-19 Policy.


Watch the full webinar here.

Read a transcript of the Q&As here.





Subspecialty Certification Standards in COVID-19 Pandemic FAQs Posted

As of March 31, 2020


As we navigate this unprecedented health pandemic, ABOG seeks to assure all programs and fellows that we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 updates and taking supportive steps to relieve the stress caused by preparing to meet certification standards. It is important to ABOG that we be flexible in our requirements so as not to create undue personal and administrative burden while continuing to ensure trainees achieve the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for independent practice. As such, all policies may be updated as the situation unfolds.


View our FAQs.





2020 Maintenance of Certification Program


As of March 27, 2020


ABOG is implementing measures as part of this year's MOC program to ease some of the pressures currently around you as you help respond to this global pandemic.


View the MOC COVID-19 Updates.






2020 Specialty Certifying Exam Application

As of March 23, 2020


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, please see the updated 2020 Specialty Certifying Examination application deadline information.


  • There will be only one deadline to complete the online application: May 22, 2020.
  • Based on this update to the May 22 deadline, ABOG is eliminating application late fees.
  • Please complete the following by May 22:
    • upload the completed Verification of Hospital Privileges Form(s)
    • pay the application fee for the exam



If you have any questions, please contact the Exams Department at exams@abog.org.





FLS Certification and ABOG Certification

As of March 17, 2020


ABOG candidates have until mid-December 2020 to complete FLS certification if they are completing their residency in the 2020-21 academic year and plan to begin the certification process and apply for the 2021 ABOG Specialty Qualifying Exam (QE).


Application for the Specialty QE is not tied to FLS status. Candidates can complete the application for the 2021 QE prior to completion of FLS certification. The 2021 QE application should be available in September 2020. Residents are encouraged to apply as soon as the QE application becomes available. Residents should contact the Exams Department at exams@abog.org with concerns about completing the FLS program by December 2020.


Have additional questions about FLS certification? View our FAQs.




2020 Qualifying Exam

As of March 16, 2020


At this time, the 2020 Subspecialty Qualifying Exam (QE) is scheduled for June 26, 2020 and the Specialty QE for June 29, 2020.


At the present, we do not anticipate scheduling alternative dates for the 2020 QEs. Our hope is that administration of exams will proceed as scheduled. However, ABOG will continue to update you as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Pearson VUE testing centers have instituted health and safety measures to assure safe examination delivery at test sites.


Candidates who do not want to take or are unable to take the QE this year due to COVID-19 may take a future year's exam without an additional exam fee. If candidates need to postpone their examination this year due to COVID-19, they should notify ABOG at exams@abog.org.


We have posted QE COVID-19 frequently asked questions that address possible scenarios that QE candidates may encounter in the weeks ahead. ABOG's goal is to partner with all candidates as they navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Our priority is everyone's health and safety.




2020 Subspecialty Certifying Exam

As of March 13, 2020


ABOG has decided to postpone its 2020 Subspecialty Certifying Exam scheduled for April 27-30 in Dallas, Texas. We will make every effort to reschedule the examination on an alternate date later this year.


Currently, we are unable to determine precisely when this will occur as the COVID-19 situation is still fluid. We will communicate the alternative dates to candidates as soon as possible. Candidates may used the same case list for the future exam, and fees paid for the 2020 examination will automatically be credited toward the future exam. If you prefer to withdraw from the examination and receive a refund, please contact exams@abog.org.


ABOG would like to help offset any travel related expense you have already incurred. If you have already purchased a flight to Dallas, and the airline is charging you a cancellation or change fee, please contact us at exams@abog.org. ABOG will reimburse any cancellation or change fees up to $300.


We know the postponement of the examination is disappointing. We recognize the extensive time and effort candidates put into preparing for the certification process. We will do everything in our power to administer the examination at the earliest feasible date.


We have posted FAQs for additional reference.




Obstetrics and Gynecology and Subspecialty Certification Standards COVID-19 Policy


As of March 13, 2020


One of ABOG's highest priorities is the health and safety of all clinicians as they care for patients and navigate challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. ABOG's COVID-19 policy outlines Certification Standards guidance for residents and fellows concerned with the impact that this public health emergency may have on training completion. Review the policy.