American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Highest Standards

Your institution’s reputation depends on positive patient outcomes, so you want your orthopaedic surgeons to meet the highest standards in the field.

When your orthopaedic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), you know that they are highly trained. Before they can achieve ABOS Initial Board Certification, they must meet these requirements:

  • Complete five years of orthopaedic surgery residency education at an ACGME-approved training program, which includes acquisition and assessment of knowledge, surgical skills, and professionalism.
  • Pass the ABOS Part I Computer Based Certification Examination to become ABOS Board Eligible.
  • Complete the ABOS Board Eligibility period, which includes a minimum of 17 consecutive months of orthopaedic practice in the same location and collection of a six-month surgical Case List which is reviewed by the ABOS Credentials Committee. The Committee selects 12 cases for which documentation and images must be submitted.
  • Pass the ABOS Oral Board Certification Examination (ABOS Part II)

The ABOS is one of the few medical specialty boards that continue to require an in-person oral examination of candidates and a rigorous peer review process.

Your ABOS Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons make a lifetime commitment to increasing their knowledge and remaining up to date on the latest research and best practices in their field through the ABOS’ Maintenance of Certification (MOC) continuing certification program.

Your orthopaedic surgeons who maintain their ABOS Board Certification must take action in these areas:

  • Professional Standing: Maintain an unrestricted License/Privileges
  • Continuing Medical Education: Complete 240 continuing medical education credits, including at least 40 credits from scored and recorded self-assessment examinations.
  • Knowledge Assessment: Successfully complete one of the following:
    • Oral Recertification Examination
    • Practice-Profiled Computer-Based Examination
    • ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment Program
  • Practice Improvement
    • Based on peer review and assessment of the surgeon’s own cases

Peer review is based on a questionnaire completed by other orthopaedic surgeons. The surgeon being reviewed gives the ABOS names of other ABOS Board Certified surgeons with whom he or she works. The ABOS also sends surveys to other ABOS Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons in the area to get a more well-rounded peer assessment. The ABOS inquires further if an orthopaedic surgeon’s Peer Review evaluations are less positive than expected.

Orthopaedic surgeons also submit information about recent surgical cases they have performed. The case list provides the ABOS an excellent opportunity to assess a surgeon’s practice.

The ABOS MOC Program provides a framework to help orthopaedic surgeons stay up to date with knowledge and advances in their specialty. The ABOS MOC Program also provides leaders and administrators in their institutions with assurance that their orthopaedic surgeons continue to meet high standards to provide outstanding orthopaedic medical care to all of their patients.


Find what you need