Hand Subspecialty

Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand)

The examination for the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand) is developed and administered by the Joint Committee on Surgery of the Hand of the American Boards of Orthopaedic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Surgery. There are more than 1,700 diplomates who hold the Surgery of the Hand Subspecialty Certificate.

The Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand is for those Board certified orthopaedic surgeons who have demonstrated qualifications in hand surgery beyond those expected of other orthopaedic surgeons by virtue of additional training, a practice characterized by a majority of cases in hand surgery, and contributions to this field.

Applicants must have completed a 1 year ACGME accredited fellowship in surgery of the hand to qualify. In addition, a 1 year case list must be submitted which meets the required number of cases in 5 of 9 categories.

Applications are available online in November of each year and the examination is given the following fall by computer at Prometric Technology Centers nationwide. This is a four hour examination consisting of approximately 175 multiple-choice questions designed to evaluate the candidate's cognitive knowledge relevant to surgery of the hand.

Candidates who have met all the requirements and have passed the examination will receive a hand subspecialty certificate issued by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery which is valid for 10 years, provided that their general certificate in Orthopaedic Surgery remains current.

For more information, you may view the Rules and Procedures.