Continuous Osteopathic Learning Assessment (COLA)

A COLA module involves reading assigned articles from the literature and then completing an on-line examination concerning those articles. The list of assigned articles and applications for the examination are posted on the AOBEM website. The articles cover the entire table of specificity over an 8 year cycle, as well as articles covering physician communication skills, cultural competency, physician interpersonal skills and systems based practice.

A new COLA module is available each year. In order to be eligible for the Cognitive Assessment Examination (formerly FRCE), a diplomate must take a minimum of 8 COLA modules within a 10 year cycle. Additionally, the diplomate must receive a passing score on at least 6 of the COLA modules. Taking and passing 6 COLA modules will not satisfy the requirement, as the physician must have attempted at least 8 COLA modules. Beginning in 2012 (those diplomates who will be taking the Cognitive Assessment in 2020), diplomates must take and PASS at least 8 COLA modules. Diplomates have access only to those modules that are available on-line; thus, it is imperative that physicians keep current with each of the modules. Candidates have an initial 3 opportunities to successfully pass a COLA module. If unsuccessful after 3 attempts, the candidate may pay the COLA fee again. She/he then has another 3 opportunities to pass the module.

For more information regarding COLA, please download the following document:

To apply for a COLA exam, please use this online application:

COLA Testing Center


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