2023 Subspecialty Qualifying Exam
- Applications will be accepted online at ABOG.org beginning January 3, 2023. Late fees apply for applications received after 11:59 PM CST February 16, 2023. The final day applications will be accepted is March 3, 2023.
- The total fee (application + examination) must be paid by credit card through the ABOG website at the time of application. If you're found to be ineligible to take the exam, the examination portion of the fee will be refunded. The application portion of the fee is not refundable, nor will it be credited toward a subsequent application.
- Please supply ABOG with an email address as part of the application process and notify ABOG of any change in your email address.
- Following submission of the online application form and payment of the appropriate fee, your application will be considered in accordance with the requirements in effect for that year. You'll be notified of admissibility to the Qualifying Examination.
- After you receive an email from ABOG notifying you of application approval, you'll need to contact Pearson VUE to obtain a seat for the exam. You're urged to secure a seat as soon as possible after notification of eligibility to avoid long distance travel to a site with an available seat. On April 26, 2023, the ABOG reserve on seats at the Pearson VUE centers will be released. After that date, it will be more difficult to reserve a seat at your preferred site. Seats in individual cities are limited and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. ABOG will not refund any portion of the test fee if you're not able to reserve a seat at your preferred testing center.
- If accommodations are needed for a disability, ABOG must receive those requests no later than March 3, 2023. See more information about accommodations for disabilities.
- If you're lactating, you can request a 30-minute break and extension of your exam if you notify the ABOG office no later than March 3, 2023, and schedule at a Pearson VUE test center by the same date. After March 3, 2023, ABOG can't guarantee that it will be possible to schedule an extended test. Most Pearson VUE test centers have only one lactation room available, so you are encouraged to make your reservations as soon as you receive approval for the test, as these rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. See more information about lactation accommodations.
Each of the following is a requirement for a Fellow in Maternal-Fetal Medicine to sit for the Subspecialty Qualifying Exam. You must meet all the requirements in effect during the year for which admission to the Qualifying Exam is requested.
OB GYN Qualifying Exam - You may not apply for the MFM Qualifying Exam unless you have previously passed the Qualifying Exam for Certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Length of Training - You must have been registered with ABOG and have completed a minimum of 32 of 36 months of training or will have completed training in an ABOG- or ACGME-accredited fellowship program in Maternal-Fetal Medicine no later than September 30 of the same year that you take the Qualifying Exam.
- Note: If you are completing a combined MFM-Genetics fellowship, you should contact the Board office for information concerning the timing of your certification examinations.
Allocation of Time - In order to take the Qualifying Examination, you must have had the following experiences during fellowship:
-- 18 months of MFM Core Clinical Experience, including at least:
- 3 months of ultrasonography
- 2 months of outpatient Maternal-Fetal Medicine
- 2 months of Genetics and Genomics
Ultrasonography, Genetics and Genomics, and outpatient requirements can be fulfilled by block time (e.g., one-month blocks) or by the cumulative experience of shorter experiences (e.g., half- or full-day clinics over time)
- 2 months in a supervisory position on a Labor and Delivery unit - minimum block is two weeks; night and weekend call performed throughout the fellowship does not apply towards this time requirement.
- 1 month in a medical or surgical intensive care unit - must participate in patient care; no MFM or OB GYN duties including night and weekend call
-- 12 months of protected research in 1-month blocks
- Conduct research leading to a thesis meeting ABOG requirements
- Complete written thesis and present work before MFM Division and Program Director by completion of fellowship
- Research time must be scheduled in blocks of not less than one-month duration, and while in a research block no more than 10% (four hours) of the fellow's time in any week may be spent in clinical duties
-- 6 months of electives
- Focused on specific clinical and/or research areas
- Selected at the discretion of the Program Director and fellow
-- Fellows may participate in non-subspecialty clinical activity or practice up to 10% of a work week (Monday-Friday) or 1/2 day (four hours) per work week averaged over a four-week period during all rotations.
- These allowances do not apply to moonlighting, weekends, or call
- Fellows may not be assigned to weeks, months, or blocks of clinical assignments or rotations to meet this allowance
- Fellows may not be assigned to night float rotations to meet this allowance
- Fellows may not aggregate this allowance to complete training early or make up extensions in training for any reason
Curriculum - You must gain expertise in the comprehensive care of maternal and fetal disorders to include high risk pregnancy, fetal evaluation and intervention, genetics, ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis, pathology, and obstetrical anesthesia.
Specifically, you must be trained in the following areas:
- Maternal-Fetal-Neonatal Physiology
- Obstetrical Critical Care
- Infection Diseases
Leaves of Absence - Leaves of absence and vacation may be granted to you by your Program Director in accordance with local policy. The total leaves of absence, including vacation, must not exceed either 12 weeks in any single year or a total of 20 weeks over the entire three years of fellowship.
- If your leave exceeds either the yearly maximum or the program maximum, the fellowship must be extended for the duration of time you were absent in excess of the maximum. The number of days that equals a "week" is a local issue that is determined by the Program Director, not ABOG.
- You are expected to take allotted vacation time. Foregoing vacation time or necessary sick leave to shorten the 36-month requirement of training is not permitted.
Moral and Ethical Behavior - You must have demonstrated good moral and ethical behavior in the practice of medicine, and in interactions with peers, other medical personnel, and patients.
- A felony conviction, even if unrelated to the practice of medicine, will be considered evidence of failure to meet this standard.
Falsification of Information - Falsification of any information or failure to disclose any adverse action will result in a deferral of your eligibility to sit for the Qualifying Examination for a period of at least three years. If you are allowed to sit for the examination at the end of the deferral period, you must meet all the requirements in effect at that time.
For complete details on the leave policy, view Fellowship Leave Policy.
Beginning in the calendar year 2020, all physicians who have completed an ABOG- or ACGME-accredited fellowship in one of the four subspecialties must achieve ABOG subspecialty certification with eight years of completion of their training.
- If certification is not achieved within eight years, you're no longer eligible to apply for either the Qualifying or Certifying Subspecialty Exams unless an additional six months of supervised practice is completed.
- This means that is you completed subspecialty training in the calendar year 2012 or earlier, you must be subspecialty certified by 2020.
- If you don't achieve subspecialty certification within eight years of completion of an accredited subspecialty fellowship program and successfully complete six months of supervised practice, you must achieve subspecialty certification within four years of the completion of the supervised practice.
For complete detail about eligibility limits, read the Regaining Eligibility policy.
Length of Exam
The Qualifying Examination is scheduled to last approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. You may leave early if you finish before the full time has elapsed, but if you do so, you may not return. You will receive information after registering on the Pearson VUE website concerning the location of your examination, as well as the time you must arrive.
You must present two forms of identification to be admitted to the examination.
- One document must include both your photograph and your signature.
- The second document must include your signature.
- If you have had a name change between application and the day of the test, you must bring a copy of an official document that verifies the name change. Examples could include, but are not limited to, a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or a court-ordered name change.
You must submit to a screening process that may include any or all of the following:
- palm vein scanning
- walk-through scanning for metallic objects
- any other screening that may be in place at the Pearson VUE center
If you refuse to submit to any screening procedure, you will not be allowed to sit for the examination, and no portion of the fee will be refunded.
You may not take any electronic devices into the examination area.
- You are not allowed to access recording devices, cellular phones, paging devices, smart watches, other electronic communication and/or recording devices, and writing instruments during the Qualifying Exam.
- If such a device is discovered on your person at any time during the examination, or if you access any such device for any reason, you will not receive a grade for any portion of the examination, and all fees will be forfeit.
The is no scheduled break during the exam.
- You may take unscheduled breaks to use the restroom facilities. Unscheduled breaks should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
- During such breaks, you may not talk with any other individual or access any electronic device. You are not allowed to leave the testing center for any reason before completing the test.
- If you violate any of these regulations, you will not receive a grade for any portion of the examination, and all fees will be forfeit.
If you have a documented disability, review the information and requirements for requesting accommodations. Or if you need to request a 30-minute break for lactating purposes, review the information on lactation and please call the ABOG Exam Department at 214.721.7520 before making a reservation at Pearson VUE for information about how to schedule a test site.
At the time of application for the exam, and again at the time the test is taken, you'll be required to agree to the following. You cannot sit for the Qualifying Exam unless you agree to these terms:
- I understand that all ABOG test materials are copyrighted, and it is illegal to disclose the content of the examination in whole or in part to any individual, organization, or business. Furthermore, I understand that if I provide the information to any such entity, I may be prosecuted under the US Copyright laws.
- I understand that if I divulge the content of the Qualifying Examination in whole or in part to any individual, organization, or business, my test result, if any, will be negated and I will not be allowed to re-apply for the examination for a minimum of three years.
- I understand that I may not record any portion of the Qualifying Examination by any means in whole or in part, and a violation will be treated as outlined in numbers 1 and 2 above.
- I understand that I may not memorize or attempt to memorize any portion of the Qualifying Examination for the purpose of transmitting such material to any individual, organization, or business.
- I agree that de-identified results of my examination may be used for research purposes by ABOG.
- I agree that the results of my examination will be given to my Fellowship Program Director.
Additional information about test security can be found on the ABOG website under Policies.
If you postpone or fail the Qualifying Exam, you'll have to complete a new online application to be considered for the next scheduled exam. Each new application required a new application fee to be paid.
Important: A passing grade on the Qualifying Examination does not ensure your admissibility to the Certifying Examination.
Results of the July 2023 Qualifying Exam will be reported online to each candidate by October 27, 2023.
- As part of the application process, you'll be required to irrevocably agree that the results of the exam may be made available to the Program Director of any fellowship program in which you participated or in which you are currently involved, and/or the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for any and all purposes.
- Furthermore, you'll be required to release and agree to indemnify and hold the ABOG and its officers, directors, and employees harmless of and from any and all claims you may have with regard to the effect or impact upon you based on the released of your exam results to your Program Director or the ACGME and waive any rights you may have, if any, to have the exam results maintained in confidence.