Immediate Past President’s Message
It was a tremendous honor to serve as President of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery this past year. My priority goals for the year revolved around MOC and in my initial President’s Message for The Diplomate I wrote, “The ABOS is committed to refining and maintaining an MOC process that is cost and time effective for Diplomates without compromising on our responsibility to the public. Simplicity and communication are keys to meeting those goals. I believe an appropriately rigorous MOC process is necessary to preserve the value of ABOS Board Certification for our Diplomates.”
Changes implemented over the last year demonstrate the commitment by the ABOS to continually refine MOC. Feedback from Diplomates is a valuable tool in that process and I appreciate those of you who took the time to participate in the recent ABOS MOC survey. Based partly on the survey information, the ABOS committed to offering Longitudinal Assessment as an option for Part III (Knowledge Assessment) of MOC.
There were other changes to MOC over the last year. Case List requirements are now a maximum of 75 cases, regardless of which examination option is selected. Therefore surgeons with higher case volumes need not enter all cases during the collection period and meet the requirement when 75 cases are entered. For surgeons with lower surgical case volumes, the collection period can now be extended for up to a year if necessary to collect the 35 minimum required cases.
Examination content blueprints as study guides for all examinations are now posted to www.abos.org. There is a new Diplomate Dashboard and Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Self-Assessment Examination (Credits) are automatically being transferred from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) to the ABOS. Webinars are offered for each Examination, providing an overview of the application process and allowing users to ask questions of ABOS Executive Medical Director Dr. David Martin.
In 2018 newly developed Practice-Profiled Examinations in Foot/Ankle, Pediatrics, and Trauma will be offered in addition to the existing ones in Spine, Adult Reconstruction Surgery, General Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine and Hand. In addition, the Sports Medicine and Surgery of the Hand Examinations are now open to anyone, regardless of Subspecialty Certification status, to take as a Recertification Examination.
The ABOS worked on multiple exciting new projects unrelated to MOC over the year. We are sponsoring research and development of surgical simulation modules to enhance the development of surgical skills for trainees outside the operating room. A great deal of time, effort and resources are being devoted to knowledge, skills, and behavior evaluation for residents with significant early results.
In summary, it has been a challenging, interesting, and eventful year. I want to thank the multitude of volunteers, ABOS staff, and ABOS Directors whose hard work and effort made it possible. I look forward to continuing to work under the very capable leadership of our new President, Dr. Peter Murray.
James R. Roberson, MD
Immediate Past President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
I am honored to be the 64th President of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) and I look forward to serving the Board in this capacity over the coming year. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. James Roberson on his year as President. The ABOS benefited greatly from his leadership, and I have big shoes to fill. Many of the initiatives that Dr. Roberson began will carry over into my presidential year, including further refinements to our Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process.
Like most of you, I am a practicing orthopaedic surgeon. Specifically, I have been practicing hand and microsurgery for over 20 years. I have a Subspecialty Certification in Surgery of the Hand and have twice successfully completed the Recertification process. As do you, I highly value both my ABOS Certificate and my Subspecialty Certificate and I am proud to be a Diplomate of the ABOS. Certification is our testament to the public that we have met a high bar for the practice of competent and safe orthopaedic surgery. MOC plays a key role in fulfilling the public trust in our profession.
There have been changes to MOC over the last year and more are on the way in 2018. Recently, with an almost 60% response rate, you provided valuable survey feedback on MOC. Based on this feedback, we have begun working on the design and pilot of a web-based Longitudinal Assessment alternative to the testing component of MOC. Through this pathway, Diplomates would answer yearly questions from their own computer. More work is needed to see this through to completion. Thank you for your feedback!
Other areas of focus for the coming year will be communication with you, the Diplomate, as well as our subspecialty societies and the public. The ABOS will continue attending subspecialty annual meetings throughout the year and possibly other professional meeting venues. We have gained a great deal from the one-on-one interaction with Diplomates at these meeting booths. We strive to exceed your expectations in terms of support in the application process. This level of support is made possible by our outstanding central office staff.
A new feature of this e-newsletter will be a monthly spotlight on the different committees of the ABOS, providing Diplomates with an understanding of our governance structure. Additionally, we will have a monthly Director spotlight, helping you to get better acquainted with the ABOS.
Finally, I am pleased to announce our new ABOS Directors-Elect Dr. James Kang and Dr. Scott Porter. They are tremendous additions to the ABOS and I look forward to gaining from their knowledge, experience and expertise.
Peter M. Murray, MD
President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Executive Medical Director’s Report
Thank you to the 10,464 Diplomates who participated in the recent Maintenance of Certification (MOC) survey that the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) conducted with RTI International. That’s 58% of Diplomates who hold a time-limited Certificate! RTI has told us that 58% is a very high survey response rate for surgeons, and we appreciate all of the feedback you have provided. This article will give you a snapshot of the results and discuss the next steps.
The question that you are probably most interested in concerned Diplomate preferences for Knowledge Assessment options. We asked, “Of the four MOC Part III Knowledge Assessment options you rated above, which one would you prefer to complete when your next Knowledge Assessment is due?” Two current options (Computer and Oral Examinations) and two possible future options (Longitudinal Assessment and Virtual Practice Assessment) were provided. Here are the results:
Computer-Based Examination 41.2%
Longitudinal Assessment 39.8%
Virtual Practice Assessment 14.2%
Oral Recertification Examination 3.9%
As you can see, the top two choices are Computer-Based Examination and Longitudinal Assessment at approximately 40% preference for each option. This distribution remained consistent among subgroups of respondents. There was a slightly higher level of support for a Longitudinal Assessment program for those who had earned their initial Certification in the last decade as compared to those who have participated in several recertification cycles. However, both groups showed significant interest in both a newly developed Longitudinal Assessment program and the current Computer-Based Examinations.
A similar question asked about Diplomates’ comfort level with each of the Knowledge Assessment options. Most Diplomates indicated they were at least moderately comfortable with each of the assessment options. Here is how comfortable (including moderately, very, or extremely) Diplomates felt with each option:
Computer-Based Examination 91.4%
Longitudinal Assessment 83.6%
Virtual Practice Assessment 71.2%
Oral Recertification Examination 64.8%
Based on the results of the survey, the ABOS Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to have the ABOS MOC Committee formulate a plan to add a Longitudinal Assessment option as an alternative Knowledge Assessment option in the ABOS MOC program. The Committee will work with RTI to solicit input from Diplomates on the design of the ABOS Longitudinal Assessment process. The ABOS appreciates the more than 6,000 Diplomates who indicated interest in participating in the development of a new Knowledge Assessment program. We will continue to listen and improve our programs and processes.
The Board has also tasked the ABOS MOC Committee to continue to investigate the Virtual Practice Assessment program. This is a program that involves a virtual Oral Examination, performed without an examinee present. This program was piloted at the Oral Recertification Examination in July of 2017. The feedback from reviewers was positive and they have provided us with some valuable comments that can help us refine this program. More investigation is necessary and will be carried out next July.
There were also several survey questions related to comfort level with using various technologies (i.e., computers, smartphones, and tablets) and online activities (i.e., finding clinical information online and completing medical education online). More than 80% of Diplomates indicated they were very/extremely comfortable with each of the five types of technology surveyed (i.e., smartphones, tablets, computers, finding clinical information online, and completing medical education online). Overall, Diplomates who had their initial Certification in the last several years were more comfortable with each of the technologies. However, most of those who have initially certified more than 20 years ago indicated at least some level of “comfort” (including moderately, very, or extremely comfortable), while nearly all Diplomates certified in the last several years indicated “extreme comfort” with these technologies and online activities.
More than 5,800 ABOS Diplomates left comments on the survey. We will review these comments and provide you with a summary when we publish the survey report. That will occur in the next few months.
We will continue to utilize RTI to help us conduct surveys and possibly form focus groups of Diplomates to gain further input. The ABOS values the feedback we receive from Diplomates and we look forward to continuing to work with you.
David F. Martin, MD
Executive Medical Director, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
2017-2018 ABOS Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) recently selected its 2017-2018 Officers and elected two new Directors-Elect.
Peter M. Murray, MD, Professor and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, Consultant in Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, will serve as ABOS President. He, along with the President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary, hold their offices for one one-year term.
Terrance D. Peabody, MD, Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Edwin Warner Ryerson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will serve as ABOS Vice President.
Douglas W. Lundy, MD, MBA, Co-President of Resurgens Orthopaedics in Atlanta, Georgia, will serve as ABOS President-Elect.
Charles L. Saltzman, MD, Chair of Orthopaedics and the LS Peery Presidential Endowed Professor at the University of Utah, will serve as ABOS Secretary.
Frederick M. 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, has been elected as ABOS Treasurer for a one-year term.
“These officers are all highly successful orthopaedic surgeons and are leaders in our field,” said David F. Martin, MD, ABOS Executive Medical Director. “They are uniquely positioned to lead our Board of Directors.”
The Board also elected two Directors-Elect: James D. Kang, MD, Thornhill Family Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Scott E. Porter, MD, MBA, Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, Greenville Health System, Greenville, South Carolina.
“Dr. Kang and Dr. Porter are orthopaedic surgeons who are well-respected by their peers and we are excited that they will be joining us,” said Martin. “They will make immediate contributions and we look forward to working with them.”
The ABOS Board of Directors consists of 21 members, which includes 12 Active Directors, six Senior Directors, two Directors-Elect, and one Public Member Director. All ABOS Board Members serve one 10-year term while the Public Member Director serves a three-year renewable term. Nominations to the ABOS Board of Directors 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 nominee slate. Officers are current Board members elected by other Board members. For a full list of ABOS Board Members, go to www.abos.org/about-abos/board-of-directors.aspx.