American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


Part I Examination Blueprint

The purpose of the ABOS Part I Examination is to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge of general orthopaedics, the basic science of orthopaedics, and a candidate’s ability to use this information for problem solving in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. To this end, the subject matter of this examination is outlined in the Part I Examination Blueprint. While the Blueprint is not a complete list of all topics that will be included on the examination, it can serve as a guide to the overall outline of the examination and can be used to guide education and preparation. It is this Blueprint that is used in constructing the examination. Candidates should understand that the questions may include interpretation, use of clinical information, laboratory tests, and imaging procedures. Questions about management may require knowledge of specific operative and non-operative treatment modalities including physical therapy and rehabilitation. The number of questions on the examination varies from 320 to 330. More information about how the written examination is developed can be found here.

The score report provided to Examinees will be include content area performance profiles based upon these 18 content domains:

  1. Adult Trauma
  2. Adult Disease
  3. Pediatric Trauma
  4. Pediatric Disease
  5. Sports (Adult/Pediatric)
  6. Rehabilitation
  7. Diagnosis
  8. Operative Management
  9. Non-Operative Management
  10. Basic Science
  11. Neoplasms
  12. Spine
  13. Upper Extremity (Clavicle, Scapula, Shoulder Joint)
  14. Upper Extremity (Humerus, Elbow Joint, Radius/Ulna)
  15. Upper Extremity (Wrist Joint, Hand)
  16. Lower Extremity (Pelvis, Hip Joint, Femur)
  17. Lower Extremity (Knee Joint, Tibia/Fibula)
  18. Lower Extremity (Ankle Joint, Foot)

The Blueprint is a pdf which can be accessed by clicking here: ABOS Part I Certification Examination Blueprint. There is a clickable table of contents that will take you that that section of the blueprint and a link at the bottom of each page to take you back to the table of contents.


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