Fall 2017 Issue

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American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics Update

New Changes Being Made to the OCC Process

By Kayse M. Shrum, DO, FACOP
Chair, American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics

Kayse M. Shrum, DO, FACOP
Kayse M. Shrum, DO, FACOP

Earlier this year, we provided an update on the AOA’s Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) process. We stated there were new changes being made and we looked forward to sharing them. We are excited about announcing these new changes have been approved by the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists. We are optimistic about the new plan and believe it will serve our diplomates well.

The New Changes Focus on Components Two, Three and Four:

Component Two – Lifelong Learning and Continuing Medical Education
Diplomates must obtain 60 AOBP Specialty Specific CME credits per three-year cycle.  The 60 credits must include 15 hours of live CME (category 1A), a minimum of eight (8) hours of Component Three credit, a minimum of seven (7) hours of Component Four credit, with the remainder to be applied in any other previously approved format. Credits for serving as a student preceptor will be limited to 30 hours.

Component Three – Cognitive Assessment

Diplomates must complete one ongoing assessment during each three-year cycle.
Each Component Three option will have a percentage of osteopathic principle and practice component included. Diplomates can choose from the following options:

  • Spaced repetition program – similar to the NBOME CATALYST program detailed below
  • In-person assessment at live college CME courses including pre- and post-tests
  • Any other BOS SRC (Standards Review Committee) approved ongoing assessment

Component Four – Practice Performance Assessment
Diplomates must complete one Quality Improvement (QI) project per three-year cycle. We will provide more details about what this entails in the near future.

AOBP CATALYST Pilot for Consideration for OCC Component Four
The AOBP partnered with the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) on a new project. We engaged in this pilot project anticipating that positive results could lead to approval by the SRC to meet the requirement for Component Three: Cognitive Assessment.

CATALYST is a new tool designed by the NBOME to provide an alternative method to ensure ongoing physician competence and enable continuous practice-relevant assessment. Accessible from the NBOME Learning Center platform, CATALYST offers convenient access and customizable content. The CATALYST methodology is based on recent findings indicating that learning and retention can be accelerated by asking individuals to retrieve what they learned previously, by spacing questions over time, providing immediate feedback, spaced repetition, and interweaving topics.

The pilot began on Monday, April 10. Each Monday, participants were notified by email that the current week’s questions were available. Participants were not required to answer questions on a strict weekly basis, but were allowed to “catch up,” provided that all questions were answered by the end of week eight. CME credit would only be offered to participants who answered all questions and completed both evaluations; no partial credit would be offered.

Thirty-eight AOBP diplomates participated in the CATALYST Pilot.  Eighty-four percent of the participants completed one hundred percent of the Pilot. At the end of week eight, participants were asked to complete the CATALYST Midpoint Evaluation. The goal of the evaluation was to obtain participants’ opinions about the CATALYST assessment format, process, and user experience. We received positive feedback from the participants, with 84% of survey participants agreeing, “I would rather answer a fixed number of CATALYST questions periodically to help me keep current in my Pediatrics rather than take the traditional high-stakes certification/recertification examination administered in a test center.”

The Pilot recently concluded and we are working with the NBOME to evaluate the results and discuss future options. We are excited about this project and will continue to update AOBP diplomates on the progress.

The AOBP is available to help with navigating the OCC process and can be reached at (800) 621-1773 ext. 8267 or via email at

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