Practice-based oral examinations from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery are used to assess an orthopaedic surgeon’s clinical competency by measuring his or her performance on cases from the surgeon’s own practice. For those taking the Part II examination, it may be the first time presenting their cases in this format. Veteran surgeons taking an oral recertification examination will not have taken an oral examination in many years, and the process has changed substantially over those years. All surgeons will perform better on the examination with adequate preparation.
To assist surgeons preparing for an oral examination, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery has created two videos:
It is highly recommended that those taking an oral examination view the videos at least a month before taking the examination, so there is enough time to prepare. Many of the surgeons who do not pass an oral examination did not adequately prepare for it.
ABOS has plans to create additional videos to complement written information already on the website and to make the process of certification, maintenance of certification, and recertification as clear as possible.
Best of luck to everyone taking an oral examination this summer.
Larry Marsh, MD
Interim Executive Director Report:
Greetings! It is an honor and a privilege for me to assist the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery as the Interim Executive Director. I am excited to serve the ABOS – the Board has recently completed a strategic planning project and set strategic priorities in the areas of certification, education, and practice improvement. There are projects underway in each of these areas and I look forward to leading the Board as we continue to strive to maintain the highest of standards.
While I have only been the Interim Executive Director for a little more than a month, it feels like a homecoming. I served on the ABOS’s Board of Directors for 10 years, finishing my term in October 2015. Dr. Shepard Hurwitz and I both joined the Board at the same time, with Dr. Hurwitz leaving two years later to become the ABOS Executive Director. I have known Dr. Hurwitz for a long time – he has been dedicated to the ABOS and has worked hard to advance its principles for the past decade. We owe Dr. Hurwitz a large debt of gratitude for his service and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
It has been a busy month. We have over 28,000 diplomates, plus additional Board Eligible physicians and residents, all in different stages of certification and recertification. That leads to a busy and exciting atmosphere here in Chapel Hill, with many moving parts. We are reviewing case lists and peer review documentation, setting up the Part I examination, preparing for the Part II examinations, and modifying the Part I/II Rules and Procedures for our next generation of diplomates. It is an exciting time!
While I spend a lot of time each week on ABOS work, I am still on the orthopaedic faculty at Wake Forest School of Medicine, taking care of patients and serving as the Director of Sports Medicine. Our division coordinates care for athletes of all ages – weekend warriors, local high school athletes, the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, the Winston-Salem State University Rams, the Salem College Spirits, and the Winston-Salem Dash.
The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery is committed to excellent communication. If you need to reach me, the best way is through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also happy to set up a telephone conference (919-929-7103). You can always reach out to our great staff who should be able to answer your questions. Until the Board selects a permanent director, I am committed to moving the ABOS forward, continuing our tradition of "doing the right thing."
David F. Martin, MD
Interim Executive Director
Brenda Kulp, RN, BSN, MA, MOC & Professional Education Specialist
For the past four years Brenda Kulp, RN, BSN, MA, has been a valued member of the ABOS team working on a variety of operations pertaining to our Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.
While the examination coordinators work directly with diplomates on a daily basis, Brenda focuses on the larger issues of MOC. She works with organizations that provide options for continual education activities and advises these organizations on ABOS requirements, criteria, and processes. Brenda interacts with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and their Multispecialty Portfolio Program and MOC Directory; the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS); subspecialty groups; and others. Brenda also supports ABOS’s MOC committee by approving new self-assessment examinations (SAE) and working with SAE alternatives such as registries and practice improvement activities.
Brenda is a registered nurse who has worked at hospitals, county health systems, and health insurers. She has been a co-author on more than 20 peer-reviewed publications. Brenda is actively involved in the Southeastern Fracture Consortium Foundation and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. Brenda’s orthopaedic nursing background has been invaluable in helping to ensure that MOC activities approved by the ABOS are of the highest quality.
In her spare time Brenda volunteers at local organizations and enjoys reading, writing poetry, gardening, designing clothes, home decorating, and spending time with family and friends.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Brenda if you have any suggestions regarding MOC activities such as SAEs, registries, and practice improvement activities.
Chief Operating Officer
Changes to CME/SAE Accrual:
In December 2015, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) sent an email to all diplomates detailing changes to continuing medical education (CME) and self-assessment examination (SAE) credit accrual for Maintenance of Certification (MOC). While these changes have been popular with many diplomates, there have been some questions asked of ABOS staff. This article will recap the changes and provide examples.
ABOS requires that a minimum of 120 orthopaedic-related ACCME Accredited Category 1 CME credits, of which at least 20 are SAE credits, be submitted and approved by the end of the first cycle (which is the first three years of your full 10-year MOC cycle); you must also pay the $100 MOC fee in order for you to maintain your status on the public section of ABOS's website as "Participating in MOC: YES" for the rest of your 10-year cycle. SAEs include scored and recorded examinations, multi-specialty portfolio program, practice improvement modules, and registries. These CME and SAE credits can be earned at any point within the 10-year certification cycle for a diplomate to maintain certification.
If you do not meet these requirements by the end of the third year of your 10-year certification cycle, your status, as found on the public section of ABOS's website, will be changed to "Participating in MOC: NO." Once these requirements are met, the website will be updated to show you as participating in MOC.
There is no penalty other than having the designation on the ABOS website state that the diplomate is not participating in MOC. Once the requirement for 120 CME/20 SAE credits is met and the MOC fee paid, the designation of “Participating in MOC: Yes” is restored.
In order for you to finalize an application for a recertification examination, you must first submit a total of 240 CME credits, of which at least 40 are SAE credits (including the 120 CME/20 SAE credits submitted in the first three years to maintain the designation as participating in MOC); the one-time MOC fee ($100); a three-month case list (computer examination) or six-month case list (oral examination); the required number of valid peer review ratings; and an application fee by 4 pm on the 1st of May in the calendar year preceding the year you wish to sit for your recertification examination. (As May 1, 2016, is on a Sunday, those applying for the 2017 recertification examinations will have until 4 pm on May 2.)
To see how many CME/SAE credits you have submitted and have been approved, go to abos.org and click “Login.” After entering your username and password, you will be taken to a dashboard that lists your CMEs/SAEs and other pertinent information. You can also upload additional credits. Credits earned through the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery (AAOS) can be transferred to ABOS by clicking on “Get CME Data from AAOS” on the page where you enter CME. When entering your non-AAOS CME/SAE credits, please make sure to upload the certificate you received from the activity or it will not be approved. Please allow up to four weeks for approval of CME/SAE after submittal to ABOS. The ABOS recommends that you upload the CMEs/SAEs to their password protected portal on abos.org soon after earning them.
When entering your non-AAOS CME/SAE credits, you will be required to submit an electronic copy of the CME/SAE credit certificate or a written acknowledgement for SAE credit earned through the multi-specialty portfolio program. Please allow up to four weeks after submittal to ABOS for approval of CME/SAE.
If you have any questions, please contact your appropriate coordinator (organized by the first letter of your last name).
- Dr. Smith has submitted (and had approved by ABOS) 40 CME credits for each of the first three years of the 10-year cycle, for 120 total CME credits. Assuming Dr. Smith has 20 SAE credits approved by the end of year three and has paid the $100 MOC fee, Dr. Smith’s status on abos.org will remain "Participating in MOC: YES" for the entire 10-year cycle. Dr. Smith will still need to earn an additional 120 CME credits, 20 of which are SAE credits, by the time Dr. Smith applies for the recertification examination.
- Dr. Jones has submitted (and had approved by ABOS) 119 CME credits (20 of which are SAE credits) by December 31 of the third year of the CME cycle. On January 1 of the fourth year, Dr. Jones’ status on abos.org will say "Participating in MOC: NO." On January 2, Dr. Smith uploads a CME certificate worth 10 credits and pays the $100 MOC fee. Once that CME has been approved by ABOS, the status of abos.org will change to "Participating in MOC: YES" and remain that way for the rest of the 10-year cycle. Dr. Jones will still need to have approved a total of 240 CME credits, 40 of which are SAE credits, by the time Dr. Jones applies for the recertification examination.
- Dr. Johnson has not submitted any CME credits in the first three years of the cycle. On January 1 of the fourth year, Dr. Johnson’s status on abos.org will say "Participating in MOC: NO." On May 1 of year nine, Dr. Johnson submits—and has approved by ABOS—240 CME credits, 40 of which are SAE credits, and pays the $100 MOC fee. Assuming the other requirements are met, Dr. Johnson can apply for the examination. Dr. Johnson’s status on abos.org will change to "Participating in MOC: YES" for the final 19 months of the cycle. ABOS does not recommend this. If any of the CME/SAE are not approved, Dr. Johnson will not be able to sit for the examination and the certificate will lapse.