American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Modifications to ABOS MOC Program

Posted On: June 9, 2023

The Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), after careful consideration and in keeping with its mission and vision, has modified the ABOS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program. The changes will be effective beginning January 1, 2024, and are meant to provide an ABOS MOC Program that is meaningful and valuable to ABOS Diplomates. The modifications will help to advance the ABOS’ mission to ensure the safe, ethical, and effective practice of orthopaedic surgery for the benefit of our patients and the public. In addition, these changes meet new Standards for Continuing Certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

What’s Not Changing

  • The ABOS MOC Program for Board Certification will continue to be on a 10-year cycle
  • Diplomates will still need to maintain an unrestricted medical license
  • Diplomates will still submit 240 CME credits, of which 40 are SAE credits, for each 10-year ABOS MOC cycle
  • Diplomates will still submit an Application and Case List once every 10 years
  • Diplomates will still be able to choose from the same Knowledge Assessment Pathways (ABOS WLA, Computer-Based Recertification Examination, Oral Recertification Examination)
  • Diplomates can still take an ABOS Computer-Based Recertification Examination in years 5-10

What’s New

  • The ABOS is working with the ACCME, AAOS, and other CME providers to automatically transfer CME credits to the ABOS—there will be no need to remember to save and upload CME certificates
  • The Application will be called the Professional Standing Update and will be submitted with a Case List in years 7, 8, or 9
  • Diplomates can take an ABOS Computer-Based Recertification Examination prior to submitting their Professional Standing Update
  • Diplomates can submit their Professional Standing Update prior to meeting the CME/SAE requirements
  • Diplomates earn ABOS Recertification after all aspects of the ABOS MOC Program are complete during their 10-year MOC cycle. Separating these requirements will allow for greater flexibility to complete each step in a timeframe that works with each Diplomate’s unique circumstances.

What’s New (Diplomates whose ABOS Board Certification expire in 2031 or later)

  • Diplomates must earn half of their CME credits (120 CME credits, of which 20 are SAEs), by December 31st of year 5 (earned in the first 5 years of the 10-year cycle)
  • Diplomates who do not meet the requirement by December 31 of year 5 will have their ABOS Board Certification revoked
  • Diplomates must earn the remaining half of their CME credits by December 31st of year 10 of the 10-year cycle or their ABOS Board Certification will be revoked

The ABOS Board of Directors has decided to keep ABOS Board Certification on a 10-year cycle. Moving the CME/SAE requirement to the end of year 5—which is currently being met by a majority of ABOS Diplomates by the end of year 3—will help to distribute continuing medical education throughout the 10-year cycle and will allow the ABOS to meet the new ABMS Standards. These changes emphasize the ABOS mission of protecting the public. The automatic transfer of CME credits to the ABOS from the ACCME as CME credits are earned will streamline this process for ABOS Diplomates.


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