May 23, 2016

OSCEs Approved for 2018 Launch

5/23/16 – Please see the May 23 email announcement below from James P. Rathmell, M.D., ABA Secretary.

Dear Program Directors:

The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) has approved plans to launch the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) component of its APPLIED Examination in March 2018. The OSCEs are designed to assess domains that are difficult to measure in the traditional written and oral exam formats, such as communication skills and professionalism.

As you know, the new staged examinations process consisting of BASIC, ADVANCED and APPLIED Examinations is replacing the traditional Part 1 and Part 2 Examinations. ABA candidates who began the four-year continuum of education in anesthesiology on or after July 2012 and will complete residency training on or after June 30, 2016 will participate in the staged exams.

Candidates who completed residency before June 30, 2016 and have not passed the Part 2 Examination by the end of 2016 will take the Standardized Oral Examination (SOE) component of the APPLIED Examination beginning in 2017 to satisfy the Part 2 Examination requirement. This SOE will be identical in format to the current Part 2 (oral) Examination. 

Candidates who complete residency training between June 30 and Sept. 30, 2016 (current CA-3 residents) will not be required to take the OSCE component of the APPPLIED Examination.  They will only be required to pass the SOE component to satisfy the APPLIED Examination requirement.

Candidates who complete residency training on or after Oct. 1, 2016 will be required to pass both the SOE and the OSCE to satisfy the APPLIED Examination requirement.

We have finished building out the OSCE rooms in the ABA’s Assessment Center and are continuing to pilot test and refine the exam scenarios. We will send you the OSCE Content Outline we are using to construct these scenarios in late June. We will share additional details as they become available, including information about the exam format and content, exemplar scenarios and orientation videos to help you prepare your residents for success. We realize that you will want as much time as possible for this preparation and will make every effort to be transparent and timely.


James P. Rathmell, M.D.