American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Diplomate E-Newsletter Spring 2024

Posted On: June 5, 2024

President’s Message

Twenty practicing orthopaedic surgeons make up the Board of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). All of the decisions that the Board makes impacts Board Members as they are all practicing orthopaedic surgeons and ABOS Diplomates. However, the ABOS Board of Directors has one additional member who plays an extremely important role.

Since 2008, the Board has included a Public Member. The mission of the ABOS is to “protect the public,” so it is important that we hear from the public. The ABOS Public Member is a full voting member of the Board and serves on numerous Committees. All ABOS Public Members have been part of the ABOS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Committee, among others. The last two Public Members have served as Chair of the ABOS Communications Committee.

Physicians have been given the privilege to self-regulate. That responsibility is one the ABOS Board of Directors takes seriously – ‘programs for orthopaedic surgeons by orthopaedic surgeons’ are critical. The Board, though, believes it is important to listen to the public. All four of the individuals who have served as ABOS Public Members are highly accomplished individuals who have provided valuable input and feedback. ABOS Public Members have been vital in major board initiatives such as:

  • Transitioning the ABOS Oral Examinations to a digital system
  • Developing the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) Pathway
  • Navigating the challenges of COVID-19 while maintaining ABOS standards

While orthopaedic surgeon Board Members serve a 10-year term, Public Members serve a 3-year term with the possibility of a second, 3-year term. All 21 members of the ABOS Board of Directors are volunteers. All have full-time jobs while devoting more than a month a year total to ABOS meetings and other Board obligations.

The Board will select its next Public Member in 2026. If you know of someone who may be a good Public Member and is interested in serving our field, you can contact our Executive Director, David Martin, at

James D. Kang, MD
President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Executive Director’s Report

You should be proud to be Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). You worked hard to earn it, and you should let your patients know what it means to be ABOS Board Certified. The ABOS has several ways you can communicate the recognition of your ABOS Board Certification to your patients:

  • Patient Brochures.
  • Patient Website:
  • Video you can add to your website or to your waiting room TV.
  • ABOS Board Certified lapel pin.
  • ABOS Board Certified window cling.
  • ABOS Board Certified widget for your website.
  • Press release template.
  • Using “ABOSD” in your signature file to indicate you are ABOS Board Certified.

For information about any of these, please reach out to our ABOS Communications Department at

We are always looking for additional ways to communicate the importance of ABOS Board Certification to patients; please reach out to us with any suggestions.

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

Professional Standing Update and Case List are Live

As part of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program, all Diplomates must submit a Professional Standing Update (Application) and Case List together once in every 10-year ABOS MOC cycle, in years 7, 8, or 9. Both the PSU and Case List entry processes are available on the ABOS Dashboard of eligible Diplomates.

The Professional Standing Update requests information found on similar applications. Please review the instructions prior to starting the process so that you have the necessary information ready. The Professional Standing Update is also the conduit through which the ABOS solicits Peer Review, from your partners, orthopaedic surgeons at your hospital, and others who you indicate are familiar with you and your practice. The ABOS also sends Peer Review surveys to ABOS Diplomates who practice in your geographic area.

The Case List includes the first 75 surgical cases performed in the year you submit the Case List (and the PSU). Those surgeons who do not perform 75 surgical cases as the primary surgeon from January 1-September 30 should include all surgical cases from that time period. Diplomates who have fewer than 35 surgical cases in that time period should contact the ABOS as there are pathways for Diplomates who are either low volume surgeons or who no longer perform surgeries. The ABOS requires a Case List once a decade and has found that reviewing a surgeon’s cases is an excellent way to assess a Diplomate’s practice. Diplomates who are found to be outliers in either types of cases or numbers of cases will be reviewed more closely by the ABOS Credentials Committee. All Diplomates receive a Case List Feedback Report from the ABOS in the Fall of the year after they submit.

The deadline to submit the Professional Standing Update and Case List is December 1st of each year. Those who do not submit these items by December 1st of year 9 in their ABOS MOC cycle will lose their ABOS Board Certification on December 31st of year 10 in their ABOS MOC cycle.

Automatic Transfer of CMEs and SAEs

As a reminder, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) launched an initiative in late 2023 with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), in which Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) activities that meet the ABOS’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements are automatically approved and transferred to a Diplomate’s ABOS Dashboard.

This new system is an easier way for ABOS Diplomates to meet the ABOS MOC CME and SAE requirements. Diplomates no longer have to upload a certificate to gain CME/SAE credit in the ABOS MOC Program. They just need to follow the CME provider’s instructions on how the credits will be transferred to the ACCME system. Each organization determines how often their records are sent to the ACCME, which in turn sends them to the ABOS. In addition, Diplomates do not need to wait for ABOS staff to approve their credits.

Many orthopaedic societies, and some health systems, are participating with additional groups enrolling regularly. You can see a list of activities that automatically transfer to the ABOS at You can still submit CME and SAE activities manually, as long as they meet the ABOS requirements.

As the ABOS is not a repository for CME and SAE credits, Diplomates can still use the AAOS Learning Portfolio to store all of their credits, especially after meeting the ABOS MOC CME/SAE requirements.

ABOS Survey on MOC

Thank you to the 10,372 American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Diplomates who completed the recent survey about ABOS Practice-Profiled Computer-Based Examinations. The Board appreciates that over half of our Diplomates regularly complete surveys like this, so the Board can make the appropriate decisions.

The ABOS Board of Directors regularly reviews its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program to make sure it is relevant to Diplomates without being overly burdensome. We are always looking for ways to increase the value and decrease the burden of ABOS Board Certification for our Diplomates.

The ABOS Written Examination Committee will review the survey results this summer and make recommendations to the full Board about the future of ABOS Practice-Profiled Computer-Based Examinations and their place in the ABOS MOC Program. Once the Board makes decisions, the ABOS will communicate any changes to Diplomates. Please make sure your email address and contact information is always up to date on your ABOS Dashboard. You can include an alternate email, and it can be a second email for you or one for an assistant. The primary method of ABOS communication to Diplomates is email, so keeping that updated and checked regularly is critical to maintaining ABOS Board Certification.

ABOS KSB Program

Orthopaedic surgery residency programs are continuing to enroll in the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior (ABOS KSB) Program. More than half of residency programs across the country are now live, and all will be onboarded by January 2025.

Starting July 1, 2025, all orthopaedic surgery residents will be required to participate in the ABOS KSB Program to be eligible for the ABOS Part I Examination, starting with the 2026 Examination. Residents will now have access to the ABOS KSB+ app, which makes it possible for residents to request an ABOS KSB Surgical Skills assessment and make an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Case Log entry together with one platform. Residents can use an integrated web portal or mobile app to participate in the ABOS KSB Program and enter cases for ACGME Case Logs.


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