American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Research on MOC

Prior to 1986, once orthopaedic surgeons became Board Certified, they were Board Certified for life. Starting in 1986, the initial Board Certification was valid for 10 years and then the orthopaedic surgeon had to successfully pass an examination to be recertified for an additional 10 years. Like all Member Boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), our Diplomates participate in Maintenance of Certification (MOC). Developed with input from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and launched in 2010, MOC activities occur over a 10-year period and include Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) credits, a Case List, Peer Review, and an examination.

Scientific articles continue to show that certification and MOC are valuable to both physicians and patients. Below is a sampling of these articles:

Sheth BP, Schnabel SD, Comber B, Martin, B, McGowan M, Bartley GB. Relationship Between the American Board of Ophthalmology Maintenance of Certification Program and Actions Against the Medical License. Am J Ophthalmol 2023 March.

Kendrick DE, Chen X, Jones AT, Clark M, Fan Z, Bandeh-Ahmadi H, Wnuk G, Kopp JP, Ibanez Moreno B, Scott JW, Sandhu G, Buyske J, Dimick JB, George BC. Is Initial Board Certification Associated With Better Early Career Surgical Outcomes?

Kopp JP, Ibáñez B, Jones AT, Pei X, Young A, Arnhart K, Rizzo AG, Buyske J. Association Between American Board of Surgery Initial Certification and Risk of Receiving Severe Disciplinary Actions Against Medical Licenses. JAMA Surg. 2020 Mar 18

Zhou Y, Sun H, Macario A, Keegan MT, Patterson AJ, Minhaj MM, Wang T, Harman AE, Warner DO. Association Between Participation and Performance in MOCA Minute and Actions Against the Medical Licenses of Anesthesiologists. Anesth Analg. 2019 Jun 24.

Jones AT, Kopp JP, Malangoni MA. Recertification Exam Performance in General Surgery is Associated With Subsequent Loss of License Actions. Ann Surg. 2019 Apr 23.

Jones AT, Kopp JP, Malangoni MA. Association Between Maintaining Certification in General Surgery and Loss-of-License Actions. JAMA 2018;320(11):1195-1196.

Kocher MS, Dichtel L, Kasser JR, Gebhardt MC, Katz JN. Orthopedic board certification and physician performance: an analysis of medical malpractice, hospital disciplinary action, and state medical board disciplinary action rates. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ) 2008;37(2):73-5.

DeNoble PH, Marshall AC, Barron OA, Catalano LW 3rd, Glickel SZ. Malpractice in distal radius fracture management: an analysis of closed claims. J Hand Surg Am 2014;39:1480-8.

Hawkins RE, Lipner RS, Ham HP, Wagner R, Holmboe ES. American Board of Medical Specialties maintenance of certification: theory and evidence regarding the current framework. J Contin Educ Health Prof 2013 Fall;33 Suppl 1:S7-19.

Brennan TA, Horwitz RI, Duffy FD, Cassel CK, Goode LD, Lipner RS. The role of physician specialty board certification status in the quality movement. JAMA 2011;292:1038-43.


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