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Specialty Certifying Exam Preparation

Two important areas and corresponding topics to help you prepare for the Specialty Certifying Exam:

  • Exam Content/Topics - You can view the topics list or download a PDF version below.
  • Visit Cast List Preparation for comprehensive details about prepping your case lists to submit.


Exam Blueprint

Approximately 30% of the questions on the test will be in the area of Obstetrics, 30% in Gynecology, 30% in Office Practice and Women's Health, and 10% in Cross Content. The approximate percentage of questions in subcategories may be viewed in the 2023 Specialty Certifying Exam bulletin.


2023 Exam Topics:

Provide preconception, prenatal, and antenatal care

  • Provide management, counseling, and testing for routine prenatal care
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and provide initial management of co-existent medical diseases (e.g., cardiovascular, chronic hypertension, pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal including liver disease, hematologic, endocrine including thyroid, psychiatric disorders, autoimmune including DM, neoplastic, dermatologic, neurologic, obesity) during pregnancy
  • Provide patient counseling regarding options, risks, and benefits of genetic testing

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage the following preconception/antenatal conditions

  • Select, perform, and/or interpret antepartum fetal assessment and manage associated abnormalities (e.g., biophysical profile, contraction stress test, nonstress test, vibroacoustic stimulation)
  • Apply knowledge of female anatomy and pathophysiology to improve patient outcomes
  • Patients at risk for preterm delivery
  • Common antepartum complications (e.g., hyperemesis, first trimester bleeding)
  • Medical disorders unique to pregnancy (e.g., preeclampsia, eclampsia, hyperemesis, gestational diabetes, cholestasis, acute fatty liver, peripartum cardiomyopathy, PUPPS, herpes gestationis)
  • Infectious diseases in pregnancy (e.g., HIV, Group A Streptococcus, varicella, pyelonephritis, CMV, toxoplasmosis, parovirus)
  • Surgical conditions (e.g., acute abdomen, adnexal masses) during pregnancy
  • Abnormal fetal presentation (e.g., external cephalic version)
  • Manage multifetal gestation
  • Fetal growth abnormalities (e.g., fetal growth restriction, macrosomia)
  • Post-term pregnancies
  • Thrombophilias
  • Fetal assessment/prenatal diagnosis (e.g., fetal anomalies, abnormal AFV, ultrasound assessment - infectious disease exposure, isoimmunization, non-immune hydrops)
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and provide co-management of non-obstetric emergencies during pregnancy (e.g., trauma, intimate partner violence, sexual assault)

Provide general intrapartum care

  • Evaluate, diagnose, and provide operative vaginal delivery (e.g., forceps, vacuum)
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and provide operative delivery (e.g., cesarean delivery)
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and repair obstetric lacerations and associated complications
  • Counsel patients on analgesia options and manage intrapartum pain
  • Evaluate and diagnose infants in need of resuscitation and perform initial management
  • Manage induction and augmentation of labor including cervical ripening
  • Prevention and management of thrombosis

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage the following intrapartum conditions

  • Labor abnormalities (e.g., preterm labor, dystocia, PROM, cord problems, abnormal presentation)
  • Obstetric hemorrhage
  • Medical disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • Placental abruption
  • Abnormal placentation
  • Uterine rupture
  • Uterine inversion
  • Placental abnormalities (e.g., placenta previa and vasa previa)
  • Acute maternal decompensation (e.g., amniotic fluid embolism, septic shock)
  • Fetal heart rate abnormalities
  • Previous cesarean delivery (e.g., TOLAC, VBAC)
  • Infectious complications

Perform the following obstetrical procedures

  • Amniocentesis for fetal lung maturation and genetic testing
  • 1st-, 2nd, and 3rd-degree vaginal laceration repair
  • 4th-degree vaginal laceration repair
  • Debridement and repair of perineal dehiscence
  • Cervical laceration repair
  • Breech vaginal delivery
  • Vaginal delivery of twin gestation
  • Internal version and extraction
  • Operative vaginal delivery (low forceps, vacuum)
  • Shoulder dystocia maneavers
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Peripartum hysterectomy
  • Management of abnormal placental location (e.g., placenta previa)
  • Management of abnormal placentation (e.g., placenta accreta)
  • Surgical management of uterine atony
  • Management of hysterotomy extension
  • Management of cystotomy
  • Management of enterotomy
  • Neonatal circumcision
  • Cervical cerclage
  • Postpartum uterine curettage
  • Amnioinfusion

Provide general postpartum care

  • Provide routine care (e.g., breastfeeding, contraception, pain management)
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage postpartum complication (e.g., vulvar and vaginal hematoma, endometritis, mastitis)
  • Evaluate and manage common medical and obstetric complications or conditions (e.g., gestational diabetes, hypertension, depression, thyroid disorders, psychiatric disorders)
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage lactation and breastfeeding complications
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage postpartum hemorrhage
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage postpartum hypertensive disorders

Provide general preoperative evaluation

  • Counsel patient about risks, benefits, and alternative treatment options
  • Determine appropriate surgical intervention
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage co-existing medical conditions
  • Obtain informed consent

Perform the following perioperative care

  • Provide interventions to reduce perioperative infection
  • Provide interventions to reduce venous thromboembolism
  • Communicate with interdisciplinary team members to reduce surgical error (e.g., timeouts, counts, fire hazard risk)
  • Communicate with interdisciplinary team members to provide appropriate anesthesia and positioning

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage postoperative care

  • A hemodynamically unstable patient
  • Nerve injuries
  • Wound complications
  • Postoperative venous thromboembolism
  • Nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Fever and infections
  • Urinary tract complications
  • Altered mental status
  • Small / large bowel injury

Provide general intraoperative care

  • Apply knowledge of female pelvic anatomy to reduce intraoperative complications
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage intraoperative hemorrhage
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and initially manage small / large bowel injury
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and initially manage urinary tract injury

Evaluate, diagnose, and surgically manage

  • Acute pelvic pain
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease/TOA
  • Vulvar disorders
  • Gynecologic trauma
  • Adnexal torsion
  • Ectopic pregnancy and pregnancies of unknown location

Perform minimally invasive surgical procedures

  • Diagnostic hysteroscopy
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy
  • Operative hysteroscopy (e.g., endometrial ablation, myomectomy, polypectomy, septoplasty)
  • Laparoscopic ablation and excision of endometriosis
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy (e.g., LAVH, supracervical, TLH)
  • Operative laparoscopy (e.g., LOA, ovarian cystectomy, salpingectomy, salpingo-oophorectomy, salpingostomy)
  • Laparoscopic myomectomy
  • Laparoscopic sterilization
  • Lysis of intrauterine adhesions
  • Proximal fallopian tube cannulation (chromopertubation)

Perform gynecologic surgical procedures for benign disorders

  • Abdominal hysterectomy
  • Abdominal myomectomy
  • Bartholin gland duct cystectomy
  • Bartholin glad duct marsupialization
  • Bilateral tubal ligation
  • Cervical conization
  • Cherney incision
  • Cornual wedge resection
  • Dilatation and sharp curettage
  • Dilatation and suction curettage
  • Exploratory laparotomy
  • Hymenectomy
  • Labia minora reduction
  • Lysis of adhesions
  • Maylard incision
  • Midline vertical incision
  • Oophorectomy
  • Ovarian cystectomy
  • Pfannenstiel incision
  • Salpingectomy
  • Salpino-oophorectomy
  • Salpingostomy
  • Trachelectomy
  • Vaginal hysterectomy
  • Vaginal septum excision
  • Vestibulectomy
  • Vulvar abscess or hematoma drainage
  • Wound debridement and secondary closure

Perform surgeries for pelvic floor disorders (e.g., prolapse, incontinence)

  • Diagnostic and operative cystoscopy and urethroscopy
  • Surgical repair of urinary incontinence (e.g., Burch colposuspension, tension-free vaginal tape, transobturator tape sling)
  • Vesicovaginal fistula repair
  • Vaginal prolapse repair (e.g., anterior colporrhaphy, posterior colporrhaphy, perineorrhaphy)
  • Vaginal apical suspension (e.g., uterosacral ligament suspension, sacrospinous ligament fixation, McCall culdoplasty)
  • Colpocleisis

Provide general neoplasia care

  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage intraoperative findings consistent with neoplasia
  • Evaluate and diagnose genetic risks of neoplasia
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage gestational trophoblastic disease

Provide routine care

  • Perform age-appropriate preventative health screening
  • Provide appropriate immunizations
  • Evaluate and manage at-risk patients and recommend genetic screening and cancer preventive measures
  • Counsel and promote wellness (e.g., weight management, diet, smoking cessation, exercise)
  • Family planning (individual reproductive priorities, contraception, optimize fertility, and pre-pregnancy health)
  • Risks and benefits of ovarian preservation

Provide care for patients with unique obstetric or gynecologic needs including

  • Geriatric patients
  • Pediatrics (<12 years) patients and Adolescent (<21 years) patients
  • LGBTQIA patients
  • Substance and alcohol abuse
  • Intimate partner violence and sexual assault
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Reproductive tract congenital anomalies

Evaluate and initiate management of primary care problems

  • Breast disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Thyroid disease
  • Osteopenia/osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Acne and dermatological conditions
  • Low back pain
  • Headaches

Perform general office gynecology care

  • Evaluate, diagnose, and initiate management of infertility disorders
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage disorders of menopause (e.g., vasomotor, genitourinary syndrome of menopause)
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and initiate management for sexual development disorders (e.g., structural, chromosomal)
  • Provide cervical cancer screening and manage abnormal results
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage adnexal abnormalities (e.g., simple and complex masses)
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage pelvic pain disorders and endometriosis
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and provide gynecologic care for women with HIV
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and provide gynecologic care for women with Hepatitis B/C
  • Evaluate, diagnose, and manage urinary tract infections

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage endocrine disorders

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Galactorrhea
  • Hirsutism
  • Disorders of puberty

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage disorders of menstruation

  • Primary amenorrhea
  • Secondary amenorrhea
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Dysmenorrhea

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage vulvovaginal conditions

  • Benign conditions (e.g., infections, dermatoses, cysts)
  • Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia / Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Chronic pain / vulvodynia
  • Pediatric (e.g., labial adhesions

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage structural uterine abnormalities

  • Leiomyomata
  • Polyps
  • Hyperplasia
  • Adenomyosis

Evaluate, diagnose, and initiate management of incontinence / pelvic floor disorders

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Accidental bowel leakage
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

Evaluate and manage early pregnancy disorders

  • Abortion (e.g., spontaneous, incomplete, missed)
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Pregnancy of unknown location
  • Ectopic

Evaluate, diagnose, and initiate management for reproductive tract cancer

  • Vulva
  • Cervix
  • Uterus
  • Ovary
  • Fallopian Tubes

Evaluate, diagnose, and manage sexually transmitted infections

  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • HPV
  • Herpes Simplex Virus
  • Trichomonas
  • Rare STIs (Lymphogranuloma venereum, Chancroid, Molluscum contagiosum)
  • Partner treatment
  • Prophylaxis including PrEP

Perform office-based procedures

  • Diagnostic hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial ablation
  • Induced abortion
  • First trimester uterine aspiration
  • Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)
  • Biopsies
  • Colposcopy (e.g., cervical, vaginal, vulvar)
  • Placement and removal of intrauterine device
  • Placement and removal of long-acting reversible contraception
  • Pessary fitting
  • Incision and drainage of vulvovaginal cyst, abscess and hematoma
  • Treatment of condyloma
  • Wound care

Communicate effectively and professionally with patients and/or family members about the following situations

  • Unexpected outcomes (e.g., fetal demise, stillbirth, cancer, surgical complications)
  • Crisis situations (e.g., substance abuse, intimate partner violence)
  • Disclosure of adverse outcomes
  • Disclosure of medical errors

Basic and applied science

  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Embryology
  • Pharmacology
  • Epidemiology and Evidence-based medicine

Evaluating and managing the following ethical situations, personally or with colleagues

  • Boundary violations (sexual)
  • Signs of excess stress and burnout
  • Unprofessional behavior (e.g., dishonesty, verbal abuse, disruptive behavior)
  • Impaired physicians (e.g., alcohol abuse, substance abuse, psychiatric disorders)
  • Personal and team member wellness
  • Counsel patients on ethically complex cases

Act ethically and professionally

  • Provide care with multidisciplinary teams (systems-based practice)
  • Participate in continuous quality improvement (practice-based learning and improvement)
  • Participate in hospital, department, or office-based patient safety initiatives (patient safety)