Longitudinal Assessment on CATALYST - American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians (2023)

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View answers to frequently asked questions about the Longitudinal Assessment

  • General Information
  • Exam Platform
  • Longitudinal Assessment Registration
  • Longitudinal Assessment Content
  • Longitudinal Assessment Administration
  • Other Questions

Longitudinal Assessment on CATALYST

The American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians (AOBFP) will no longer administer the traditional high-stakes exam taken by its diplomates at least once every 7 to 9 years to fulfill the Component 3 requirement of Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC). Diplomates will now be required to participate in the AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment on CATALYST to fulfill the Component 3 requirement of OCC.

This FAQ is intended to answer questions related to the Longitudinal Assessment on CATALYST, including the platform, assessment administration, and assessment exam content. These FAQs will be updated on a periodic basis as additional information becomes available.

General Information

What is the Longitudinal Assessment?

In terms of medical certification, longitudinal assessments generally combine formative and summative assessment features, including feedback and other opportunities for learning. The Longitudinal Assessment is a shorter, more frequent assessment opportunity that occurs during an assessment cycle. The AOBFP LA cycle is three years and includes a set number of questions that must be answered by diplomates during each year of the cycle.

Why choose the Longitudinal Assessment format for OCC Component 3?

The goal of ongoing physician certification through LA is to support diplomates as lifelong learners while elevating the osteopathic medical community and profession. LA incorporates aspects of formative assessment, such as feedback and opportunities for remediation, and is a crucial component that promotes learning during the assessment. In this sense, assessment as learning becomes as important as assessment of learning.

When can I begin participating in the Longitudinal Assessment?

Your certification issue/expiration date will determine when you should begin participating in LA. This information along with all the OCC requirements is available on the AOBFP website.

Certification Expiration DateStart Longitudinal Assessment
Dec. 31, 2023January 2023
Dec. 31, 2024January 2024
Dec. 31, 2025January 2025
Dec. 31, 2026January 2026
Dec. 31, 2027January 2022
Dec. 31, 2028January 2022
Dec. 31, 2029January 2022
Dec. 31, 2030January 2023

How do I know when my certification was issued or expires?

Visit the AOA physician portal to view your certification information and to check the status of your OCC.

I have a non-time limited certification; do I need to take the Longitudinal Assessment?

Diplomates who hold a non-time limited certification are not required to participate in the LA. The Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) process for the diplomates that hold a non-time-limited certification (non-expiring, non-dated) is voluntary

I received reciprocal certification through ABMS reciprocity campaign. Do I need to participate in the Longitudinal Assessment?

Yes. To maintain an active AOA family medicine certification, diplomates must fulfill the requirements for OCC. Your OCC requirements are based on the certification issue/expiration date. These requirements can be accessed and viewed from the AOBFP website.

Exam Platform

How is the Longitudinal Assessment administered?

The AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment is administered through the CATALYST platform. CATALYST is a learning platform managed by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). In addition to the learning opportunities that the CATALYST platform offers, assessments delivered on CATALYST provide both performance feedback and educational resources for the concept being assessed.

Do I take the Longitudinal Assessment using a tablet/mobile device?

The LA on the CATALYST platform is accessible 24/7 (within AOBFP’s designated testing window) and can be taken on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Where can I learn more about the CATALYST platform?

Additional detailed information regarding CATALYST platform can be found on the NBOME website.

Longitudinal Assessment Registration

How do I register for the Longitudinal Assessment?

Registration for the LA is available on the AOBFP website. If you are not eligible to enroll for the current application period, the registration system will not allow you to submit an application. Registration consists of a pre-populated application and a $225 annual fee payable by credit/debit card only. The AOBFP will send routine email reminders regarding upcoming applications as registration for the LA is required every year.

What is the deadline to register for the AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment?

The LA application open and close dates are available on the Important Dates page on the AOBFP website.

What is the fee for the Longitudinal Assessment?

The annual LA fee is $225 and must be paid at the time of registration on the AOBFP website. The fee is payable by credit or debit card only.

Longitudinal Assessment Content

Who developed the content on the exam?

Subject matter experts practicing in the field of osteopathic family medicine developed the content for the LA. The AOBFP selected content that is appropriate for ongoing osteopathic certification.

I have a limited scope of practice, will this exam cover all of Family Medicine?

The AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment covers a single area of practice from the osteopathic continuous certification blueprint. You will be presented with a list of subjects to choose from in order to fulfill your requirement.

How can I get involved with writing exam questions?

If you are interested in becoming an item writer, send an email to AOBFPVolunteer@osteopathic.org and include CV.

Longitudinal Assessment Administration

Are the assessments timed?

Questions are administered on the CATALYST platform each quarter and can be answered during a specified date range. The LA questions in each quarter are not timed and can be completed at your own pace.

Diplomates apply for longitudinal assessment starting in October of the prior year The annual fee for Longitudinal Assessment is $225.

Q1: January – March (10 questions)
Q2: April – June (10 questions)
Q3: July – September (10 questions)
Q4: October – December (remediation period for unanswered or incorrect questions)

Can I begin questions and then resume my exam?

Yes. Once you have completed a question and advanced to the next question, you may exit the CATALYST platform. Upon returning to CATALYST the exam will resume at the last unanswered question.

Can I take the assessments with a colleague?

No, the LA is not a collaborative effort. The LA is to be completed independently using educational resources.

What is the passing point for each quarter?

The pass point is a cumulative score of 80% for the 3 quarters.

What happens if I am unsuccessful after the remediation quarter?

The LA consists of three quarters and one quarter of remediation. Diplomates will receive 10 questions during each of the three quarters. A cumulative score of 80% is required to pass. Diplomates receiving a score of less than 80% will have another opportunity during the 4th quarter. It is expected that diplomates participate each quarter and correctly answer 80% of questions. The AOBFP will review the results for all diplomates that do not meet the 80% score. From 2022-2024, the AOA will provide an additional attempt(s) to pass the following year. Upon successful completion of the remediation, the diplomate will enter into the Longitudinal Assessment process the following year.

Can I take all my questions in the remediation quarter?

No. The remediation quarter is designed to give diplomates a second attempt at questions that were answered incorrectly on the first attempt. The remediation quarter only displays questions that were not answered correctly in previous quarters. Diplomates who do not participate in the first three quarters will only have one attempt to answer the questions during remediation.

Other Questions

What if I am unable to participate in a year of the Longitudinal Assessment due to personal/health issues?

Active participation in each component of OCC is required in order to maintain continuous certification. If you are unable to complete the LA or any other component of OCC you should contact the AOBFP directly as early as possible at AOBFP@osteopathic.org.

Will I receive CME credits for successfully completing the Longitudinal Assessment?

Yes. Five (5) category 1-B credits will be awarded at the end of each calendar year upon successful completion of the LA.

How do I continue to maintain my subspecialty or CAQ certification?

A longitudinal assessment plan will be developed subspecialty certification in the future. Currently Diplomates who hold a subspecialty certification in Geriatrics will continue to take the OCC recertification exam to maintain their certification. For all other certifications, please contact the conjoint or certifying board directly.


What is longitudinal assessment? ›

Longitudinal assessment involves: Shorter assessments of specific content related to a physician's needs and interests. Recurring assessments over a period of time to reinforce concepts and promote learning and retention. Ongoing performance feedback to identify areas in which additional learning is desirable.

How long is the Aobfp exam? ›

There are 275 single-answer, multiple-choice questions on the Family Medicine Cognitive Exam. This is an approximately 5.5 hour exam with breaks between sections. The breakdown of the exam is listed below.

How long is Aobfp certification good for? ›

Certificates dated March 1997 and thereafter expire eight years from the issuance date. CAQ certificates in addiction medicine and sports-medicine are time-limited for 10 years.

What is osteopathic continuous certification? ›

Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) is a process through which board certified DOs maintain current status and demonstrate competency in their specialty area.

What is passing score on family medicine longitudinal assessment? ›

It is expected that diplomates participate each quarter and correctly answer 80% of questions. The AOBFP will review the results for all diplomates that do not meet the 80% score. From 2022-2024, the AOA will provide an additional attempt(s) to pass the following year.

What happens if you fail LKA? ›

If your score meets or exceeds the performance standard, you can continue with the LKA. Failure to meet the performance standard does not result in loss of certification, however, you must pass the traditional, 10-year MOC exam the following year to remain certified.

What is a passing score for the Aobfp exam? ›

The AOA reports scores on a 200 to 800-point scale with a scaled score of 500 or higher required to pass.

How long is the ABOM exam? ›

In delivering exams through Pearson VUE's network of more than 300 computer-based test centers throughout the United States and Canada, ABOM will elevate the test-taking experience for the one thousand-plus doctors who sit for the four-hour exam every year.

What is the eligibility for Acofp? ›


All qualified applicants for ACOFP membership must be a graduate of a college of osteopathic medicine approved by the American Osteopathic Association at the time of graduation and shall be licensed to practice osteopathic medicine.

How do I verify AOA certification? ›

Contact the AOA Customer Resource Center at (312) 202-8000 to verify your status. In order to request an official physician profile, which provides primary source verification of your certification status, send an email to credentials@AOAprofiles.org.

What is distinction of advanced osteopathic training? ›

The Distinction of Advanced Osteopathic Training is exclusively and only available to the designated osteopathic residents and fellows who complete the educational requirements of Osteopathic Recognition as verified by their program's Director of Osteopathic Education.

What makes do different from MD? ›

The two degrees reflect different types of medical school training. MD-granting institutions are often called allopathic medical schools, while DOs attend osteopathic medical schools.

Is a DO as competent as an MD? ›

The DO stands for doctor of osteopathic medicine, and just like a medical doctor (or MD), they are fully trained and certified to provide exceptional health care.

Is osteopathic medicine easier than MD? ›

a DO program. Practically speaking, however, it is more difficult to get into an MD program vs. a DO program. During the 2021–2022 academic year, the average MCAT and GPA for students entering U.S. MD programs were 511.9 and 3.74, respectively.

Is a DO more qualified than an MD? ›

An M.D. and a D.O. receive practically the same medical training and have the same rights and responsibilities in regards to healthcare. Just like an M.D., a D.O. must complete four years of medical school followed by residency and if desired, a fellowship.

What is the difference between LKA and 10 year MOC? ›

The main difference between the two is in the delivery structure. The ABIM MOC Exam is set up as one large exam that needs to be taken and passed once every 10 years. The LKA is taken in an ongoing manner. Each exam participant is given 30 questions to answer per quarter over a 5-year ongoing cycle.

What is the highest score for ABFM? ›

What score do I need to pass? Your responses to the questions on the ABFM are converted into a scaled score ranging from 200 to 800.

What happens if you fail ABFM certification exam? ›

If your exam attempt was unsuccessful, you may attempt the exam again as long as you continue to meet the requirements to do so. Requirements can vary depending on the timing of when you took your examination.

What is a passing score ABIM 2022? ›

Overall performance is reported on a standardized scale ranging from 200 to 800 points. Your performance on the entire exam determines the exam pass- fail decision. To pass the exam, your standardized score must equal or exceed the standardized passing score of 366.

Can you pass with a failed module? ›

You can still pass your course even with a failed module, so speak to your personal or senior tutor about any concerns you may have. Don't worry if you're still confused about the processes surrounding failing a university module.

What happens if you fail more than one module? ›

you must repeat the modules that you failed. you may be excluded from further study and you may not continue.

How is the Pance exam scores? ›

The PANCE scale has a minimum score of 200, a maximum score of 800, and the passing score is 350.

How many questions are on the Bcpps exam? ›

Certification Examination (150 items): 3 hours, 45 minute testing period. Recertification Examination (100 items): 2 hours, 30 minute testing period.

How is the ANCC exam scored? ›

To pass the ANCC examination, an examinee must achieve a scale score of 350 or higher. Prior to conversion of an examinee's score to this scale, the examinee's raw score on the examination is determined, which is simply the number of test items that the examinee answered correctly (e.g., 105 out of 150).

How long does it take to get ABOM results? ›

Candidates agree to pay ABOM a score recheck fee of $100 per request. Score recheck results will be reported with ten (10) business days of the request.

How many pass the physician licensure exam? ›

The passing average is 75%, with no grade falling below 50% in any subject.

Is obesity medicine a recognized specialty? ›

Diverse Group of Specialties

He also points out that the American Board of Medical Specialties has recognized obesity medicine as a clinical specialty.

How many members are there in Acofp? ›

The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) is a professional medical association that represents more than 20,000 practicing osteopathic family physicians, residents and students throughout the United States.

What is a Faafp doctor? ›

It stands for Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. It should appear on the CV as doctors often list it as part of their credentials.

What does osteopathic medicine do? ›

Osteopathic medicine is a "whole person" approach to medicine—treating the entire person rather than just the symptoms. With a focus on preventive health care, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don't just fight illness, but help prevent it, too.

Is AOA accredited? ›

In 1943, the AOA founded the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), an organization that accredits hospitals and other health care facilities. In 1957, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare recognized the AOA as the official accrediting body for osteopathic medical education.

Do I have to be an AOA member? ›

Will AOA defend my licensure and certification if I am not a member? AOA will always advocate for the recognition of osteopathic credentials – the DO degree, AOA residency training, and AOA certification. However, legal advocacy for individual DOs is a benefit of membership.

How do I find out my AOA number? ›

Contact the AOA Member Service Center during business hours at msc@osteopathic.org or (312) 202-8000, Option 1. After hours and on weekends, you can obtain your number by emailing info@osteopathic.org.

What is the best osteopathic school? ›

What is osteopathic medicine?
15 Best Best Osteopathic Medical Schools for
  • Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. ...
  • Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. ...
  • Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. ...
  • Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine. ...
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

What are the two types of osteopathic techniques? ›

The three main types of osteopathic manipulative techniques are: Soft Tissue, Direct Osteopathic Techniques, and Indirect Osteopathic Techniques. Soft Tissue Techniques include stretching, kneading, and inhibition.

Are osteopathic doctors better? ›

In the United States, doctors are either an MD (allopathic doctor) or DO (osteopathic doctor). For patients, there's virtually no difference between treatment by a DO vs MD. In other words, you should be equally comfortable if your doctor is an M.D. or a D.O.

DO DO and MD get paid the same? ›

MD physicians are more likely to earn higher salaries overall, but, this is because more allopathic medical school graduates tend to specialize and pursue the most lucrative specialties in medicine. A higher percentage of DO physicians practice in lower-earning primary care specialties.

Why would I choose a DO over an MD? ›

Holistic Healthcare Techniques. By definition, an osteopathic (or DO) approach to wellness involves looking at the whole body and choosing whole-body (holistic) treatments, while MDs often focus on the specific set of symptoms the patient is experiencing to find a treatment.

What kind of doctor has DO instead of MD? ›

A doctor of osteopathic medicine, also known as a D.O., is a fully trained and licensed doctor. A doctor of osteopathic medicine graduates from a U.S. osteopathic medical school. A doctor of medicine, also known as an M.D., graduates from a traditional medical school.

DO MDs look down on DOs? ›

Do MDs Look Down on DOs? In practice, DOs and MDs work side by side and are respected equally by the majority of those in medicine. The consensus in most hospitals and residency programs is that they don't care if you're a DO or MD. They just care that you are a good physician.

Is DO more competitive than MD? ›

On average the admissions criteria for MD applicants tends to be higher than for DO applicants. However, stats don't tell the whole story, so we need to discuss the philosophical, practical, and career differences between DO and MD schools.

Can you have both an MD and a DO? ›

Physicians with both an MD and a DO are licensed in all 50 states to practice medicine, perform surgeries and prescribe medication.

What is the salary of a doctor of osteopathy? ›

How much does an Osteopathic Physician make in the United States? The average Osteopathic Physician salary in the United States is $201,552 as of January 26, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $158,454 and $260,743.

What is the highest degree an MD has? ›

A Doctor of Medicine (MD) is the highest degree for physicians and surgeons. Depending on the country, it can be either a professional doctorate (like in the case of the US or Canada), or a research degree (like in the UK or Germany).

Can you be an anesthesiologist with a DO? ›

Yes, anesthesiologists are specialized doctors. They must hold an MD or DO degree, making them a doctor or a physician, and they must complete medical residencies in anesthesiology and a series of exams and certifications in order to practice.

What is a longitudinal study example? ›

Longitudinal study examples

Consider a study conducted to understand the similarities or differences between identical twins who are brought up together versus identical twins who were not. The study observes several variables, but the constant is that all the participants have identical twins.

What is longitudinal assessment in medical education? ›

It works by administering shorter assessments of specific content repeatedly over a period of time to help individuals increase their understanding, knowledge, and skills toward achieving the performance/practice standards in a specialty.

What does longitudinal mean in childcare? ›

A longitudinal study is a observational study that follows the same subjects repeatedly over a period of time, in some cases from birth to death.

What is the purpose of a longitudinal study? ›

The benefit of a longitudinal study is that researchers are able to detect developments or changes in the characteristics of the target population at both the group and the individual level. The key here is that longitudinal studies extend beyond a single moment in time.

How long does a longitudinal study take? ›

How long is a longitudinal study? No set amount of time is required for a longitudinal study, so long as the participants are repeatedly observed. They can range from as short as a few weeks to as long as several decades. However, they usually last at least a year, oftentimes several.

How do you complete a longitudinal study? ›

Go to:
  1. Step one: Build a collaborative team and set a long-term plan. ...
  2. Step two: Develop a strong theoretical framework to support research questions. ...
  3. Step three: Design a comprehensive study that maps onto study aims. ...
  4. Step four: Determine the sample and develop a recruitment plan. ...
  5. Step five: Select and/or develop measures.
Mar 30, 2016

What are the three types of longitudinal studies? ›

There are a range of different types of longitudinal studies: cohort studies, panel studies, record linkage studies.

What are 3 types of assessments that can be used for student evaluations? ›

There are three types of assessment: diagnostic, formative, and summative.

What is a longitudinal patient record? ›

A longitudinal health record is an electronic medical record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Each visit to the doctor usually focuses on a single reason for the encounter.

Is longitudinal study good? ›

Longitudinal studies are better to establish the correct sequence of events, identify changes over time, and provide insight into cause-and-effect relationships, but they also tend to be more expensive and time-consuming than other types of studies.

What are the benefits of a longitudinal study for a child? ›

Cohort and longitudinal studies have unique potential to improve understanding of the dynamic processes that shape child development, including trends and trajectories. Because these surveys track individuals over time they can illuminate many aspects and stages of children's lives, including unexpected events.

What are examples of longitudinal data? ›

A dataset is longitudinal if it tracks the same type of information on the same subjects at multiple points in time. For example, part of a longitudinal dataset could contain specific students and their standardized test scores in six successive years.

What are the issues with longitudinal studies? ›

  • Costly and time consuming. Longitudinal studies can take months or years to complete, rendering them expensive and time consuming. ...
  • Participants tend to drop out. ...
  • Report bias is possible.
Dec 27, 2021

Who benefits from longitudinal study? ›

Longitudinal data allows researchers to explore dynamic rather than static concepts. This is important for understanding how people move from one situation to another (for example, through work, poverty, parenthood, ill health and so on). The link between earlier life circumstances and later outcomes.

What are the pros of longitudinal study? ›

What Are the Advantages of Longitudinal Studies?
  • It allows for high levels of validity. ...
  • The data collected is unique. ...
  • Most will use the observational method. ...
  • It makes it possible to identify developmental trends. ...
  • Data collection accuracy is almost always high. ...
  • Longitudinal studies can be designed for flexibility.
Sep 12, 2017


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