American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Part II

The Part II Oral Examination is the second of the two parts of the certifying examination for orthopaedic surgeons. The oral examinations are given each summer in Chicago. Approximately 700 candidates take this examination each year. The purpose of the oral examination is to evaluate the candidate’s clinical competence. This is done through a credentialing process and an examination.

A Part II Candidate must have started practice and been granted hospital admitting and surgical privileges on or before November 1 in order to qualify for the Part II examination two calendar years later. A Candidate must also be continuously and actively engaged in the practice of operative orthopaedic surgery, other than as a resident or fellow (or equivalent), in one location for at least 17 full calendar months. It also is a candidate’s obligation to inform the ABOS of any subsequent change in practice location or privileges that occur after submission of the candidate’s application but before the examination date.

It is the responsibility of potential applicants who meet these qualifications to go to the Board website, register, and follow the instructions to apply for Part II. Applications and the case list collection program are available April 1 of each year and are due November 1. The application and case lists must be filled out and submitted online. To access the application, you must click on login and enter your username and password.

The Credentials Committee of the ABOS meets to review information received on applicants and determine admissibility. A decision about each applicant is made either to approve admission to the next examination, to deny admission, or to defer a decision pending further evaluation.

The ABOS has prepared several videos to help you prepare for the examination.

Candidates who pass the examination are certified and are Diplomates of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. They receive a certificate that is valid for 10 years. 


  1. Pass Part I.
  2. Be continuously and actively engaged in orthopaedic surgery in one location for a least 17 consecutive months.
  3. Electronically submit a completed application, application fee, a Scribe case list, and names of your peer reviewers by November 1. (Late deadline is November 15.) Available on website beginning April 1.
  4. Receive letters of notification to examination in April on
  5. Receive examination assignments and admission cards in June. View the orientation videos.
  6. Take Part II examination at Palmer House in Chicago in July.
  7. Examination results are posted online in late August.

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