American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Diplomate E-Newsletter Fall 2019

Posted On: October 28, 2019

Immediate Past President’s Message

It does not seem like it was a year ago when I wrote about my goals while serving President of the ABOS. But it has been – time has traveled quickly.

I said that the Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) would be a major focus of the ABOS in 2018-2019, and it was. As Dr. David Martin writes in his column, it has been a fantastic success. I am so happy that such a significant number of ABOS Diplomates decided to participate, with nearly all who did expressing their approval of this assessment pathway. It is one of the most significant developments at the ABOS in many years.

Thank you to everyone who helped in its creation and development: orthopaedic surgeons choosing the Knowledge Sources and writing the questions; other orthopaedic surgeons beta testing the platform; still others reviewing issues as they arose along the way. A sincere thank you to the ABOS staff who were able to bring it all together for a successful administration.

Communications has also been a focus of the ABOS over the last year. The ABOS is now active on social media, and thus is able to bring news to those who choose this communication vehicle, in “real time.” In addition, we are trying to do a better job of communicating the core values of the ABOS as an organization. For example, please take a look at our Guiding Principles and Values, which are both prominently displayed on our website.

I want to give a special thank you to Dr. Charles Saltzman, the ABOS’s Vice President for the last 12 months. Dr. Saltzman and I came onto the Board at the same time, and throughout the years he has provided so much guidance and wisdom, not only to the Board as a whole, but to me as a friend and colleague. In addition, I want to thank Executive Medical Director Dr. David Martin, Chief Operating Officer Aaron White, and the rest of the ABOS staff. The ABOS is fortunate to have a dedicated team helping Candidates and Diplomates; we regularly hear about the fantastic customer service they provide.

Congratulations to Dr. Rick Wright, who took over as President of the ABOS Board of Directors this month. Dr. Wright’s experience on the Board, including leading the Written Examination Committee, along with a vast quiver of personal and professional skills, will ensure that he has a successful year leading this organization. Dr. Josh Jacobs will be the Vice President, and he brings a wealth of leadership experience to that role as well. The ABOS is in good hands.

It has been a rewarding year, moving the mission of the Board forward by ensuring the safe, ethical, and effective practice of orthopaedic surgery by maintaining the highest standards for education, practice, and conduct through Examination, Certification, and Maintenance of Certification for the benefit of the public.

Douglas W. Lundy, MD, MBA
Immediate Past President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

President’s Message

I am honored to be assuming the role of President of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) this month and I look forward to serving in this role until October 2020. I am looking forward to a busy and exciting year.

Personally and professionally, the past 12 months have already been exciting for my family and me. Last month, I started my new role as Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Vanderbilt University. Previously, I had been at Washington University in St. Louis. I specialize in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and, while in St. Louis, I served as the team physician for the St. Louis Blues Hockey organization; I was happy to celebrate their Stanley Cup victory. In addition, in the past year, my wife and I welcomed our first grandchild into this world.

I have previously served as Chair of the ABOS Written Examinations Committee. I am proud that during my time on the Board, we have tripled the number of Computer-Based Recertification Examination options. You can now choose from nine different Practice-Profiled Recertification Examinations. Detailed Blueprints are available for all ABOS Examinations, and none of the Practice-Profiled Examinations contain general orthopaedic questions.

One of my initiatives for the next year is the “ABOS Ambassador Program.” For many years, our Executive Medical Director and Board Members have spoken at orthopaedic society meetings across the country. The goal of our new program is to formally reach out to all of our Diplomates across the country. We are going to do this by making an effort to speak at State and Regional orthopaedic society meetings and delivering our message in person. The more meetings we attend, the more we are able to meet individuals and discuss ways the ABOS can continue to meet its mission, while at the same time supporting you, our Diplomates. The ABOS staff has contacted many organizations, but we welcome anyone to contact us if you have a meeting you would like for us to attend. Please do not hesitate to email Kristin Caba at the ABOS office, and she will be able to help set up a speaker for your meeting.

My predecessor as ABOS President, Dr. Douglas Lundy, and Dr. Jack Flynn, our MOC Chair, did a fantastic job of leading the development of the ABOS WLA program. I had the privilege of working with our colleagues at the AAOS and many orthopaedic specialty societies in the development of assessment questions. As an organization, we now must continue to improve on this new assessment pathway to ensure that it remains relevant to Diplomates and their practices. As you will read in Dr. David Martin’s Diplomate article this month, we have a few tweaks for 2020, and I am excited to be part of the continuation of this program.

Lastly, I am pleased that I am joined in the leadership of the ABOS Board of Directors by my friend and colleague, Dr. Joshua Jacobs, who will be Vice President of the Board. The ABOS Executive Committee is rounded out with President-Elect Dr. Michael Bednar, Secretary Dr. John Flynn, Treasurer Dr. Frederick Azar, Immediate Past President Dr. Douglas Lundy, Executive Medical Director Dr. David Martin, and our Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Aaron White. I am also pleased to welcome our new ABOS Director-Elects Dr. Charles Nelson and Dr. Lisa Taitsman to the ABOS Board of Directors. We look forward to the significant contributions of these orthopaedic leaders

Lastly, feel free to reach out to me at with any questions that you may have.

Rick W. Wright, MD
President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Executive Medical Director’s Report

In my last article, the Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment Program (ABOS WLA) had just concluded, and I thanked the nearly 10,000 ABOS Diplomates who participated. I also solicited Diplomates, even those who did not participate in the inaugural year of the ABOS WLA program, to take a short survey that was conducted by RTI International. This survey provided the ABOS with valuable data and feedback.

I want to thank the nearly 8,000 Diplomates who completed the ABOS WLA survey. We heard from Diplomates representing all specialties. The vast majority of feedback was positive, and we received many thoughtful suggestions. It was also helpful to hear from those who did not participate as to why they did not participate and to review their plans for moving forward.

You should have recently received a report sent by email that highlights the survey findings and offers information about the tweaks we will be making in the program for the coming year. If you did not receive the report, you can find it here.

Nearly 75% of Diplomates rated the ABOS WLA as “very good’ or “excellent,” and more than 96% indicated that they were “very likely” or “extremely likely” to continue to participate next year. Respondents gave very high marks when evaluating the ABOS WLA platform and the Knowledge Sources that were available. Most also indicated that the ABOS WLA helped them improve their practice.

We have studied all of the open-ended responses, and we appreciate you providing thoughtful feedback. We heard from Diplomates that they would like to know in advance from which Knowledge Source the next question administered would be coming. Changes are in the works to make that happen.

We also heard from many who were eligible but chose not to participate. The top reason that ABOS Diplomates did not participate is that they wanted to take one examination per 10-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) cycle, which is still a possibility through the Computer-Based Recertification Examinations and Oral Recertification Examination.

The ABOS was delighted that an overwhelming majority of Diplomates considered the ABOS WLA a successful assessment option. In response to the survey, we will be making a few improvements to the ABOS WLA for 2020. As stated above, Diplomates will know in advance from which Knowledge Source the questions will come. There will be new Knowledge Sources for each subspecialty, and many of the top 2019 Knowledge Sources will be available again if you did not choose them in 2019.

You will be able to see all 2020 Knowledge Sources starting January 2, 2020, by logging in to you ABOS Dashboard. The ABOS WLA Assessment Window will run April 13-May 18.

The 2020 ABOS WLA is open to all Diplomates who have a Certification expiration year of 2026-2029 and to those Diplomates with a Certification expiration of 2019-2025 who earned a Quality Year in 2019.

More information about the ABOS WLA can be found at Feel free to contact the ABOS with any questions. I’m also happy to discuss any concerns that you may have at Thank you!

David F. Martin, MD
Executive Medical Director, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Recertification Application Deadline is December 2

If you would like to take a 2020 American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Computer-Based Recertification Examination or Oral Recertification Examination, you must submit an Application, Application Fee, and a finalized Case List, and have completed the CME/SAE requirements, by 4 pm ET on December 2, 2019. Those Diplomates who have Certificates that expire in 2020, 2021, or 2022 are eligible to take the Examination. Diplomates participating in the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) are also required to submit these documents in years 7, 8, or 9 of their 10-year cycle. All Diplomates whose Certificates expire in 2020 must apply by the deadline, or their Certificates will expire on December 31, 2020.

Subspecialty Examination Application is Available

If you have completed an ACGME Accredited Fellowship in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine or Surgery of the Hand, you are eligible for Subspecialty Certification from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS).

ABOS Subspecialty Certification is for ABOS Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons who have demonstrated qualifications in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine or Surgery of the Hand beyond those expected of other orthopaedic surgeons by virtue of additional training and a practice characterized by a volume and diversity of cases in that subspecialty. This recognizes those Diplomates who have made significant contributions to these fields. More information can be found at

The Subspecialty Examination Application is available by logging in to and then clicking on the “Hand” or “Sports” tab at the top of the page. The completed Application, Case List, and Application Fee are due by 4 pm ET on February 3, 2020.

755 New Diplomates

Congratulations to the 755 orthopaedic surgeons who passed the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Part II Examination, becoming ABOS Diplomates. Becoming an ABOS Diplomate is a significant achievement, representing hard work, a commitment to excellence, and a dedication to competence in our field – we salute this accomplished group of surgeons! They, along with those Diplomates who passed an Oral Recertification Examination, have received a package containing their Certificate, Board Certified pin and window cling, and patient brochures. If you are in one of those groups of Diplomates and did not receive a package, please call the ABOS at 919-929-7103. In addition, 760 orthopaedic surgeons passed the ABOS Part I Examination. They are now Board Eligible and many of them will take the 2021 ABOS Part II Oral Examination to attain their ABOS Board Certification.

MOC Video

Want a quick overview of Maintenance of Certification? This animation video explains what’s required.


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