The Qualifying Examination is designed to measure a candidate's ability to recall factual information, interpret clinical data, and solve problems in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. The clinical areas include allergy, head and neck surgery, laryngology, otology/audiology, rhinology, pediatric otolaryngology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and sleep medicine. In addition, questions classified as clinical fundamentals will cover non-specialty specific areas such as professionalism, patient safety, ethics, etc. The examination poses questions in the basic sciences as well as patient care topics classified as data gathering/interpretation, diagnosis, and management.
The use of written notes or reference material of any kind, including electronic media, is prohibited, as is making written notes of the contents of the test. The examination is confidential, copyrighted material under the 1976 copyright act, and the unauthorized possession, reproduction, recording, discussion, or disclosure of any material, or answers before, during, or after the examination is prohibited. Such actions may be sufficient cause for the ABOto to terminate participation in the examination, to invalidate the results of the examination, to withhold examination scores, to bar a candidate permanently from all future examinations, or take other appropriate action.