American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Guiding Principles

ABOS Guiding Principles

Our founding principles have always been, and will always remain, serving the best interest of the public, our patients, and the profession of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Historically, we have achieved this through the establishment of quality and performance standards. To ensure the safe, ethical, and effective practice of orthopaedic surgery, we must be forward-thinking, innovative, nimble, accessible, and responsive to our stakeholders.

By certifying a practicing orthopaedic surgeon’s knowledge, skills, and behavior, we provide an important service to patients and the public, allowing them to make intelligent and informed decisions regarding their orthopaedic surgeon.

The following principles guide our actions:

  • We are committed to working proactively to define the future of the lifelong ABOS Board Certification process, ensuring that our standards are relevant to the contemporary practice of orthopaedic surgery and respect the unique nature of each surgeon’s practice.
  • We recognize that change and adaptability are vital. We will strive to develop and administer the best certification programs to encourage continued learning and high quality clinical care.
  • We are committed to educating the general public and stakeholders within the healthcare industry about the value of ABOS Board Certification and the benefits of an orthopaedic surgeon maintaining that certification. It is our goal to make information regarding the qualifications and competence of orthopaedic surgeons easily accessible to all consumers.
  • We strongly believe in physician self-regulation. There is no better group to set performance and safety standards than the skilled, caring, dedicated, practicing orthopaedic surgeons who serve with our volunteer Board of Directors to uphold the core values of the ABOS.
  • We believe in collaboration, recognizing the value in traveling this path with partners. Achieving our mission and maintaining relevance will be accomplished through collaboration with others who share our vision, including professional societies and other groups.
  • We believe in the value of listening. Continually reaching out to Diplomates and our partners for feedback and insights will improve our processes.
  • We believe that there is no place for bias or discrimination within the field of orthopaedic surgery or within our organization. Recognizing that there is progress to be made, we are taking action and implementing programs to encourage diversity within our board and our cadre of volunteers, particularly with respect to race and gender.

Our passion is to do the right thing. We will continually strive to find new and innovative ways to support these guiding principles and remain accountable to our stakeholders.


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