Changes, Improvements to the OTOHNS Certification Process
Learn more from ABOHNS leadership about the upcoming format change to the Oral Certifying Exam (OCE).
This special session will focus on the recently approved decision made by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS).
As President of ABOHNS, C. Gaelyn Garrett, MD, will introduce the session panelists and moderate the discussion, which will include substantial time for questions from the audience. Dr. Garrett, who is professor and vice chair at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said the panel will review the history of the certification process, as well as provide rationale on why it will transition to a practice-based format.
“My view is that we need to evolve with the changing landscape of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery education and practice patterns, while ensuring that we continue to fulfill our mission to serve the public with our initial and ongoing certification processes,” Dr. Garrett said in preparation for the Annual Meeting. “Our goal [for the session] is to educate and alleviate some of the angst associated with any change, and our hope is that candidates for certification will embrace this change as it will better align with what they’re actually doing as otolaryngologist–head and neck surgeons.
ABOHNS Executive Director Brian Nussenbaum, MD, MHCM, said he anticipates the new OCE to go into effect in 2025. Currently, only applicants for the initial Board certification are affected by the changes, which the Board agreed will add value to and strengthen the specialty going forward.
“The examination content will focus on what the candidates do during practice, instead of describing what they would do in hypothetical patient care scenarios,” said Dr. Nussenbaum. “The testing is at a higher level on Miller’s Pyramid with a focus on assessing how the candidates are independently practicing after completing training.”
The last time major changes were made to the certification process was 1990. Other than that, ABOHNS did alter the OCE in 2020 to accommodate for the constraints of conducting the exam in a virtual environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.