Case Lists (MOC Part IV)
Case lists are a key component of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) certification and recertification process. They are a metric for ABOS to assess a Diplomate’s practice and also provide Diplomates an opportunity to self-evaluate their performance in practice with a goal to improve patient care. Case lists are critical to an Oral Examination since the Diplomate’s case list is used to select cases for the actual examination. Case selectors review the entire list, practice profiles based on the list, and complications and use this information in selecting 12 cases for the examination.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which sets standards for 24 boards, requires a process for Diplomates to personally review their performance in practice. The ABOS fulfills this requirement with case lists. Case List collection begins on January 1st of the calendar year that you plan to submit your Recertification Application, which are due by December 1. The ABOS recommends that you do this in Year 7 of your 10-year MOC Cycle, but can be done in Year 8 or 9 as well.
Case lists allow Diplomates to review their practice including adhering to accepted standards, patient outcomes, and rate and type of complications. When entering cases into the ABOS exclusive Scribe system—and especially when printing a summary report—Diplomates see a snapshot of the types of surgery performed and complications that occurred. In our busy practices, it can be difficult to take the time to reflect on and pull together these important issues and critically look at what we are doing.
The Board also uses the case lists as part of its credentialing process. The credentials committee assesses outliers in case list profiles, such as a large number of arthroscopies in elderly patients or arthroplasties in young patients or excessively high complication rates. Based on this case list review, in conjunction with other information such as peer review, the committee may accept, defer, or deny a Diplomate’s application to take a Recertification Examination. They may also require an Oral Recertifying Examination to evaluate performance in practice. About 98 percent of recertification applicants do not come before the Credentials Committee. For Part II, 96 percent of applicants do not come before the Credentials Committee.