American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Diplomate E-Newsletter Fall 2022

Posted On: November 16, 2022

Immediate Past President’s Message

At this time last year as I was starting my term as President of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), I wrote to you about our goals to continue to make ABOS Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) relevant without being overly burdensome, while staying true to our core mission of protecting the public and advancing safe, effective, and ethical care in our profession.

The Part I and Part II Certifying Examinations remain cornerstones of the ABOS mission. We were able to administer the 2022 ABOS Part I Examination on a single day (July 14, 2022) and all Candidates who applied were accommodated. The first-time taker pass rate was 97.8 %, the highest in recent history to date, after a dip to 92% in 2021. Credit to ABOS Director Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli and the ABOS Written Examination Committee for delivering a high-quality examination in which only three questions were deleted for performance reasons! We were also successful in returning to Chicago from Sunday, July 17 through Thursday, July 21, to administer our traditional ABOS Part II and Oral Recertification Examinations to 956 examinees, the largest number ever, by 217 examiners. While we found ways to operate remotely during the pandemic, our goal was always to get back to “normal” in-person oral examinations. A big thanks to Dr. Kevin Garvin and the ABOS Oral Examination Committee for their work in refining the scoring rubric to make the process more objective and consistent and for making sure the on-site experience was as safe as it could be for Examinees, Examiners, and Staff. As always, the success of the Oral Examination process depends on an incredible group of ABOS Volunteers, and their service over the last two years has been nothing short of amazing. Thanks to everyone who made it work.

The knowledge assessment component of MOC has notably changed based on the popularity of the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) Pathway. This year, 14,493 Diplomates (the most ever) participated in this process and 99 percent achieved a quality year. In addition, nearly 600 ABOS Diplomates have successfully navigated this pathway to complete their knowledge assessment for MOC. Perhaps more significant are the many favorable comments on the most recent MOC survey attesting to the relevance of the knowledge sources on Diplomates’ clinical practices. As a corollary to the meteoric rise in ABOS WLA participation and based on decreasing numbers of Diplomates taking ABOS Computer-Based Practice-Profiled Examinations, these assessments (except for the General Orthopaedic Examination) will only be offered on an every-other-year basis starting in 2023. Kudos to Dr. Jim Kang and our MOC Committee for their innovative work in continuing to make the process of continuing certification relevant and flexible.

One year ago, I mentioned the Board’s somewhat lesser-known role for setting standards in orthopaedic resident education and our focus on the ABOS Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior (KSB) Program. Our GME Committee chaired by Dr. Lisa Taitsman has continued to methodically expand this program of collaboration and communication with orthopaedic residents and training programs to try to help shape the future of competency-based graduate medical education in our profession. We now have about 70 orthopaedic residency programs from across the country participating in various components of the program. Based on the success of ABOS KSB with these early adopters, our Board recently approved a timeline for requisite participation in ABOS KSB during residency training after June 2024. There is much to be done!

Under Dr. Scott Porter, the ABOS Credentials Committee has streamlined the candidate review process, shortened the Peer Review questionnaire form, and established a Retired Status category for Diplomates who are no longer practicing but wish to be recognized for their years as Diplomates in good standing.

Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, chaired by Dr. Charles Nelson, is actively looking at our organization and processes to identify if implicit bias exists and to remedy any inequities. In 2022, at the recommendation of the task force, the ABOS partnered with a nationally recognized DEI consultant to create a series of training videos designed exclusively for our Oral Examiners to help them understand the potential negative impact that unconscious bias may have in their ability to deliver a fair examination. Further, the task force recently embarked on a study seeking to answer the question of systemic bias in our Oral Examination (results are not yet available) and has begun the process of doing the same with our Written Examination.

I am proud of what the ABOS has accomplished over the last 12 months and want to take this opportunity to recognize the role of ABOS Vice President Dr. Ann Van Heest. I am grateful for her partnership and support throughout the year and was fortunate to be able to share the mantle of leadership with her. We both benefitted throughout from the wisdom and guidance of our directors, the professionalism of our Staff, and the commitment of our many volunteers.

We are all looking forward to the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead, and we are in excellent hands with Dr. April Armstrong and Dr. Fred Azar.

Thank you for your trust and support over the past year. It has been an honor and privilege to lead the ABOS.

Gregory A. Mencio, MD
Immediate Past President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

President’s Message

I am honored to have been elected to the position of 69th President of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). It is especially meaningful to me to be only the second woman to serve in this important role. Ten years after Dr. Judy Baumhauer became the first woman President of the ABOS and 20 years after Dr. Marybeth Ezaki was elected as the first female member of the ABOS Board of Directors, I am proud to carry on the legacy of these talented women.

My job is to represent all 21 Directors on the Board of the ABOS and lead the organization for the next year. As my predecessors have done, my goal is to make Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) relevant and valuable to orthopaedic surgeons without being burdensome.

Prior to being elected as President-Elect, I served as Chair of the ABOS Written Examination and Graduate Medical Education Committees. I am proud of the work we have done with the ABOS Part I Examination over the last few years, including updating the Blueprint to match the AAOS’s OITE’s focus on subspecialties. Even more importantly, the Part I Examination and OITE are now linked. Residents can see this information on their ABOS Dashboards. PGY5 residents now have ABOS Dashboards, and all residents will have their own ABOS Dashboard shortly.

For the ABOS Computer-Based Recertification Examinations, we regularly update the Blueprints to make sure the examinations reflect the current knowledge that practicing orthopaedic surgeons should know. We are updating the General Orthopaedic Surgery, Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, and Surgery of the Hand Blueprints. When finished, you will be able to find them here.

We are continuing to improve the ABOS Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior (ABOS KSB) Program for orthopaedic residents and orthopaedic residency Program Directors. Assessing residents’ professional behavior is something that I am passionate about. It is much easier to change professional behavior while still in residency, rather than after the fact. If you are affiliated with an orthopaedic surgery program that is not yet participating in the ABOS KSB Program, I highly recommend that you investigate the program to learn more about it. We are streamlining it, making it easier to use, and more beneficial both to residents and programs.

It will be a busy year. I am delighted to work with Dr. Fred Azar, who is serving as the ABOS Vice President this year. As a former President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and a skilled orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon, he adds much insight and leadership to the ABOS Board of Directors.

Feel free to reach out to me at with any suggestions that you may have concerning ABOS programs and processes.

April D. Armstrong, MD
President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Executive Director’s Report

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) rarely has job openings. Employees have generally only left the ABOS through retirement. Most staff members have been with the ABOS for at least five years, with several having been with the ABOS for more than 20 years! We have two new employees who I would like to introduce.

David Shepherd is the new ABOS Manager, Information Technology (IT). With the importance of IT to organizations in the current age and with so many ABOS assessments being tech-related, the Board created this new position to manage all aspects of ABOS Information Technology. While David is new to the Board community, he has many years of IT expertise, having led IT departments throughout the Southeast. He has already had an impact on ABOS operations, improving efficiency in many areas, both internally and externally. We look forward to David making the ABOS a leader in the IT arena.

Cass Chisholm, MLITT, PMP, is the new ABOS Assessment Specialist. She is managing many of the projects that Patti Scalf did prior to her retirement after more than 30 years of service with the ABOS. Cass oversees all ABOS written examinations and is responsible for other tasks including testing accommodations and volunteer management. Cass previously worked for the American Board of Anesthesiology and has worked for several assessment organizations in the past. She brings a lot of ideas to improve processes that will help ABOS Examinees, Diplomates, and Volunteers.

While these roles are behind the scenes, the work they do greatly impacts you. We had several highly qualified candidates for each position and are delighted that David and Cass are now integral parts of our team.

The ABOS Staff is comprised of 13 dedicated employees. We also work with consultants where appropriate. The ABOS also works with over 300 volunteers each year, and we could not do the work of Board Certification without them.

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

ABOS Mourns Death of Dr. DeRosa

It brings us great sadness to announce the passing of Dr. G. Paul DeRosa, who died on October 12th. Dr. DeRosa had a major impact on the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS), first as a member of the ABOS Board of Directors and then as the Executive Director of the ABOS. The organization is in a better place based on his dedication and leadership.

Dr. DeRosa led by example. He believed in “doing the right thing” and was always a “north star” for the ABOS. He literally wrote the book on the ABOS by writing a history of the ABOS so future generations would know about the leaders who made the ABOS what it is today. All new Directors-Elect receive this book, so they understand how the organization has grown.

Prior to being named ABOS Executive Director, Dr. DeRosa spent 25 years at Indiana University, where he received his medical degree and completed his orthopaedic residency education. In addition to leading the ABOS in so many ways, Dr. DeRosa was a former President of the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA), the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), and the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association (MAOA). He was a proud graduate of Notre Dame, having played football for the Fighting Irish and was a dedicated lifelong fan.

The ABOS Board of Directors thanks him for not only being a terrific ambassador of the ABOS but also an incredible mentor and a great friend to many. We have lost a great orthopaedic surgeon and leader, and he will be missed by his patients and colleagues. Paul was a true hero in every sense of the word.

For more information, go to!/Obituary.


ABOS Announces Its 2022-2023 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) recently selected its 2022-2023 Officers and elected two new Directors-Elect.

April D. Armstrong, MD, C. McCollister Evarts Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, will serve as ABOS President over the next year. She is the second woman to serve as President of the ABOS. Dr. Armstrong, along with the President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary, hold their offices for a one-year term.

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, will serve as ABOS Vice President.

James D. Kang, MD, Thomas S. Thornhill, MD, and Karen N. Thornhill Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will serve as ABOS President-Elect.

Scott E. Porter, MD, MBA, Vice Chair of Operations in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Prisma Health-Upstate, will serve as ABOS Secretary.

Kyle J. Jeray, MD, Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Prisma Health-Upstate, has been elected as ABOS Treasurer for a one-year term.

The Board elected Matthew R. DiCaprio, MD, Professor of Surgery and Director of Orthopaedic Oncology at Albany Medical Center and Steven L. Frick, MD, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, as Directors-Elect.

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. 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. Officers are current Board members and are elected to serve by the Board of Directors. For a full list of ABOS Board Members, go to


ABOS MOC Survey Results

Thank you to the nearly 10,000 American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Diplomates who completed the ABOS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) survey that was sent to all Diplomates in June of this year. Partnering with RTI International, a large majority of Diplomates indicated they are pleased with the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) Pathway, and most Diplomates would be fine with the ABOS continuing to phase out the ABOS Practice-Profiled Recertification Examinations.

Findings from the ABOS WLA section (only sent to those who participated in the 2022 ABOS WLA) include:

  • 95% had a positive experience with the ABOS WLA platform.
  • 93% said the Knowledge Sources were high quality.
  • 93% said that the Knowledge Sources were relevant to their practice.
  • 83% said participation in the ABOS WLA would help them provide better care to their patients.

While a large majority of Diplomates are content with the ABOS WLA, we will continue to make minor tweaks to make it even better. No major changes in the ABOS WLA Pathway are planned for 2023.

As previously discussed in The Diplomate, due to the popularity of the ABOS WLA Pathway leaving fewer Diplomates taking the Practice-Profiled Examinations, the ABOS is offering each Practice-Profiled Examination every other year. See below for the schedule. With this change, the Board decided to allow Diplomates the ability to submit a Recertification Application as early as year four and take an examination as early as year five, still giving Diplomates up to three opportunities to take their preferred examination.

Prior to making this change, the ABOS surveyed all Diplomates to see how many would be negatively impacted. The ABOS asked the same questions this year, and even fewer ABOS Diplomates indicated that they would be negatively impacted (about 12-16%, depending on the question). As of now, the ABOS still plans to offer Practice-Profiled Examinations through 2030.


ABOS Hiring an Associate Executive Director

To meet increasing organizational demands, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) invites qualified individuals to apply for the position of part-time ABOS Associate Executive Director. The Associate Executive Director will reflect passion for the mission of the ABOS and apply that passion in taking a leadership role in all aspects of ABOS Written (computer-based) Examination development. The individual in this role will be a key part of the ABOS Leadership Team, working closely with the ABOS Board of Directors, the ABOS Staff, ABOS Volunteers, and outside stakeholders.

A successful candidate must be an ABOS Diplomate in good standing, with a history of volunteer service to the organization. Candidates must possess excellent communication and teamwork skills. The position responsibilities will be performed remotely for the most part, with travel and in-person activities as well.

The position description can be found on the ABOS website at Interested candidates should submit the following:

  1. A personal statement of intent briefly outlining their interest in the position
  2. A current Curriculum Vitae
  3. Contact information

That information should be submitted by email to the attention of David F. Martin, MD, Executive Director, at Candidates may contact Dr. Martin with questions about the position after reviewing the job description. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the process.

The deadline for receipt of the above information is December 15, 2022.

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery is an equal opportunity employer.


ABOS WLA Returning in January

On January 11, 2023, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) will post Knowledge Sources for the 2023 ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) Pathway. This posting will include 111 new Knowledge Sources as well as 107 carried over from last year. New Diplomates and newly Recertified Diplomates are invited to try the ABOS WLA Pathway in 2023; the earlier you begin the pathway, the more chances you will have to be successful. The 2023 ABOS WLA Assessment Window will be open from April 4th through May 23rd, 2023. Early next year, the ABOS will host a webinar on the ABOS WLA Pathway. The ABOS will email eligible Diplomates more information toward the end of this year. For more details on the ABOS WLA Pathway, go to


ABOS on YouTube

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) regularly posts videos on our YouTube channel. There are more than 60 videos including tutorials and webinars on many topics, such as the history of the ABOS. In addition, we have videos featuring patients explaining why they have chosen an ABOS Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon. You can share those videos to your own patients. Go to and subscribe to the ABOS YouTube channel so you will be alerted when we add new videos.


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