American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


Applications are available each year on August 1 with an application deadline of October 1 for the examination given the following summer.

There is a $1040 combined application and examination fee.

Examinees will be at a Prometric Testing Center for a total of 9 hours which includes test taking time, break time, and tutorial time. There are 328 total items on the examination. To view a breakdown of the examination, click here.

The Examination Blueprint can be helpful when preparing for the Examination.

  • Be in the fifth year of an ACGME accredited orthopaedic surgery residency program or have completed an ACGME accredited orthopaedic surgery residency at the time of application.
  • Final 24 months of orthopaedic residency must be obtained from a single ACGME accredited orthopaedic surgery residency program.
  • Requirements for orthopaedic surgery residency programs can be found in the ABOS Rules and Procedures.

Candidates for ABOS Board Certification are required to complete an orthopaedic residency education program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Every year of an individual’s orthopaedic surgery residency program must be in a program that is accredited by the ACGME at the time the resident is at the institution. To begin the Board Certification process through the ABOS, an osteopathic physician will be required to be in a residency educational program that is ACGME accredited at the time that they begin the program and that accreditation must stay active throughout the resident’s education. Accreditation of a program is considered to begin when the program achieves a status of “Initial Accreditation” from the ACGME. This begins the time which can be considered by a resident as counting toward the ABOS five-year requirement. A program with a status of “Pre-Accreditation” is not considered accredited and the time spent in a program with this status does not count toward the five-year requirement to be eligible for the ABOS certification process. This principle applies to allopathic resident physicians as well.

An orthopaedic surgeon who received his or her graduate medical education outside of the United States or Canada and does not meet the educational requirements, but who is employed as a full-time teaching faculty member (not as a fellow) in an ACGME-accredited academic institution may apply and qualify to sit for the certifying examination. For more information, contact Sonya Parker.


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