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.

Potential applicants who have passed Part I must be continuously and actively engaged in the practice of orthopaedic surgery in the United States, its territories, Canada, or a U.S service installation for 20 months immediately prior to the examination. Time spent in fellowships cannot be counted. They must also hold a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S. or Canada, or be in full-time practice in the federal government. 

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 in October. 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 20 consecutive months.
  3. Electronically submit a completed application, application fee, a Scribe case list, and names of your peer reviewers by October 31. (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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