This is my final article for The Diplomate; my year as President of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) has ended. I welcome Dr. Jim Roberson as President and know he will do an excellent job in leading the Board. I also want to welcome Dr. David Martin as the new Executive Medical Director. Dr. Martin has served as Interim Executive Director since March. He demonstrated during that time that he will be dedicated to serving the board, the diplomates, and the public to improve board processes. The Board has also elected Dr. James Carpenter as Vice President, Dr. Peter Murray as President-Elect, Dr. Terrance Peabody as Secretary, Dr. Douglas Lundy as Treasurer, and new Directors Dr. April Armstrong and Dr. Frederick Azar.
It has been a busy—but exciting—year with many new initiatives in process. As one example we have made and continue to make many changes to our Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Starting in 2017, we have eliminated general orthopaedic questions on the Practice Profiled Recertification Examinations and have made the Hand and Sports Medicine Recertification Examinations available to all diplomates. Previously, a Subspecialty Certificate was necessary to recertify with these examinations. This year we will begin work on a process that in 2018 will result in new Practice Profiled Examinations in Orthopaedic Trauma, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, and Foot and Ankle Surgery. We have received a lot of emails and phone calls from diplomates who were happy with these changes and additions. Most diplomates will be able to take a Recertification Examination that is based on questions on clinical cases similar to the types of cases they see in their practice.
The Oral Examination, a totally practice-based exam, is fully electronic and the processes to deliver this examination improve every year. We are also working on even more dramatic changes to our examination processes; before long we may be able to offer diplomates a remote review of their submitted cases, which would offer the possibility of recertifying without leaving home. There will be more information about that initiative next year.
In the past year, we’ve made it easier for diplomates to earn the continuing medical education (CME) and self-assessment examination (SAE) credits needed to participate in MOC and to apply for a recertification examination. Previously, credits had to be earned over two distinct cycles which caused some confusion. Now, diplomates need to earn 120 CME and 20 SAE credits during the first three years of their 10 year cycle in order to remain designated as “Participating in MOC.” The additional 120/20 can be earned any time before applying for a Recertification Examination. This has allowed more flexibility, and this adjustment has been well received by many diplomates.
Communication with diplomates is important to the Board and the communications survey we distributed earlier this year has helped us learn that diplomates want emails tailored to them, especially about their MOC status. Our diplomates are not interested in communication through social media. A major part of Dr. Martin’s role will be to improve communication and you can learn more about that in his article in this issue.
In closing, I wish the best of luck to Dr. Martin, Dr. Roberson, our new directors, and our diplomates as we all strive to demonstrate to our patients and the public that we maintain the highest standards of orthopaedic care.
Larry Marsh, MD
Executive Medical Director's Report
Greetings from Chapel Hill! I am excited to be taking the position as the new Executive Medical Director for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), which I began full time on October 1st. While I am sure that I will miss my work as a full-time orthopaedic academician with the Wake Forest community, I will still maintain my active orthopaedic surgery practice there on a part-time basis. I have been in leadership roles at the ABOS for more than a decade and believe strongly in its mission. I have many ideas to help our organization adapt to the changing landscape of Certification and Maintenance of Certification and to help our Diplomates be successful. One of the items that I will focus on will be improving communication with Diplomates, Candidates, Orthopaedic Organizations, and the Public.
You may have noticed more frequent communications from the ABOS in the last 12-18 months, thanks to the work of our Chief Operating Officer Aaron White and Communications Specialist David Elstein. While the ABOS is starting to do a better job in getting more communications to you, we need to develop an effective strategic communications plan.
The background for the plan started earlier this year when we sent a communications survey to all diplomates and received a lot of great feedback. Thank you to those who participated. We reported on the results in the June issue of The Diplomate. If you did not respond to the survey, please do not hesitate to get us your thoughts and suggestions on our communications package. We will continue to work with you to make sure you receive quality information in a timely manner.
One communications item that we feel is a major improvement is the website, abos.org. If you have not visited the website recently, please take a look. There are several major changes including:
- A new, cleaner design that works well on a laptop or on a smartphone.
- Improved navigation so that you can find what you are looking for quickly and efficiently.
- Updated and additional text so most of your questions can be answered online.
We are also in the process of updating the dashboard, which is the first thing you see after logging in to your password protected portal on abos.org.
Our new “What is Board Certification” patient brochures have been sent to those who have certified or recertified this year. We will print additional copies every summer for newly certified or recertified diplomates. If you have not certified or recertified this year, but would like copies of the brochure for your patients, please contact us.
We have also created several how-to videos that are readily available through our website and we plan to continue to provide more, such as:
Hopefully, you have discovered our new branding campaign; everything coming from the ABOS offices looks similar. We believe it is a clean, professional design that lets you know it’s the ABOS calling! This newsletter features the new design.
If you have any comments about communications, please do not hesitate to contact me directly; or feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
David F. Martin, MD
Executive Medical Director
New Officers and Directors
The Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) recently selected its 2016-2017 Officers and elected two new Directors-Elect.
James Roberson, MD, Chair and Robert P. Kelly Professor of Orthopaedics at Emory University, will serve as President. He, along with the President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary, hold their offices for a one-year term.
James Carpenter, MD, Chair and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School, will serve as Vice President.
Peter Murray, MD, Professor and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida will serve as President-Elect.
Terrance Peabody, MD, the Edwin Warner Ryerson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will serve as Secretary.
Douglas Lundy, MD, Co-President of Resurgens Orthopaedics in Atlanta, Georgia, has been reelected as Treasurer and will be serving his second one-year term in this position.
“These officers are all well-respected by their peers and are leaders in orthopaedic surgery who will do an outstanding job leading the organization,” said David Martin, MD, ABOS Executive Medical Director.
The Board also elected two Directors-Elect: April Armstrong, MD, Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute, and Frederick Azar, MD, Chief of Staff of Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics and Professor at the University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering.
“Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Azar are two highly successful orthopaedic surgeons who will be an immediate asset to the Board,” said Martin.
The Board consists of 21 members, which includes 12 Active Directors, six Senior Directors, two Directors-Elect, and one Public Member Director. All members serve one 10-year term while the Public Member Director serves a three-year term. Nominations come from the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the American Medical Association. Each organization nominates four physicians two out of every three years and the Board votes for one candidate from each slate. Officers are current Board members elected by other Board members. For a full list of members, go to abos.org/about-abos/board-of-directors.aspx.
The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Inc. was founded in 1934 as a private, voluntary, nonprofit, independent organization to serve the best interests of the public and the medical profession. These interests are achieved through the ABOS by establishing standards for the education of orthopaedic surgeons. These standards are evaluated by the ABOS through examinations and practice evaluations.
As Dr. Martin’s article this month focuses on communication, I thought it would be a good time to highlight one of our newest employees, Communications Specialist David Elstein, who started at ABOS in September 2015.
David manages the communication activities of the ABOS with its Candidates/Diplomates and general public; including electronic communications (The Diplomate, email reminders) and our website. David also leads media relations, survey creation, and branding.
David has been in the communications/public relations field for more than 15 years and has worked for government agencies as well as the Duke Cancer Institute. He has also been a freelance writer for several publications. David earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and is a proud Terp.
David grew up in Maryland, but has greatly enjoyed the decade he has spent in North Carolina. David enjoys spending time with his wife and their two young children. He also likes podcasts, mockumentaries, and music from the 1990s.
David has been a great addition to the ABOS team!
Chief Operating Officer