American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Diplomate E-Newsletter Summer 2021

Posted On: August 2, 2021

President’s Message

In the last issue of The Diplomate, I reported the results of a 2020 ABOS Diplomate survey indicating that approximately 20% of Diplomates would like to take an American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Computer-Based Recertification Examination to satisfy the Knowledge Assessment portion of the ABOS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program. I also stated that the ABOS will honor its commitment to those individuals by continuing to offer ten different Computer-Based Recertification Examinations, covering all orthopaedic subspecialties. We also reported that the Practice-Profiled Recertification Examinations will begin to be offered every other year. I would like to provide you with the details of that program.

All examination options will be offered in 2021 and 2022. Starting in 2023, the General Orthopaedic Surgery Computer Examination will continue to be offered every year while all ABOS Computer-Based Practice-Profiled Recertification Examinations will be offered every other year. You can see the chart below for a schedule that outlines when each of the Examinations will be given.

After 2022, the following Practice-Profiled Recertification Examinations will be offered only in odd numbered years (2023, 2025, 2027, 2029):

  • Foot and Ankle
  • Orthopaedic Trauma
  • Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Surgery of the Hand

After 2022, the following Practice-Profiled Recertification Examinations will be offered only in even numbered years (2024, 2026, 2028, 2030):

  • Adult Reconstruction
  • Musculoskeletal Oncology
  • Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
  • Surgery of the Spine

The ABOS wants all Diplomates to continue to have three opportunities to pass an ABOS Computer-Based Recertification Examination. To accomplish this, Diplomates are now able to submit their Application and Case List as early as year four in their 10-year ABOS MOC cycle. Previously Diplomates have had to wait until year seven of their 10-year ABOS MOC cycle to submit an Application and Case List. Diplomates whose certification expires in 2027 or sooner can apply by December 1, 2021, to take a 2022 Examination. Diplomates will still need to meet the Continuing Medical Education and Self-Assessment Examination requirements to submit a Recertification Application.

For example, if a Diplomate’s certification expires in 2026 and the Diplomate wants to take the Adult Reconstruction Practice-Profiled Recertification Examination, that Diplomate can apply this year and take the examination in 2022, 2024, or 2026—years six, eight, or ten. This Diplomate would not be able to take the Adult Reconstruction Practice-Profiled Recertification Examination in years seven or nine, as was previously possible.

As a reminder, you can still participate in the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) Pathway or the ABOS Oral Recertification Examination. You can still apply in year four if choosing the ABOS WLA or Oral Recertification Examination pathways.

If you have any questions about your requirements, I highly recommend contacting your Certification Specialist at the ABOS offices.

Michael S. Bednar, MD
President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Executive Medical Director’s Report

The third year of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery’s Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) has recently ended, and the number of Diplomates who participate continues to increase each year. More than 13,700 Diplomates took part in 2021, with 99.7% of them earning a Quality Year—correctly answering at least 24 of 30 questions.

Diplomates who participated in 2021 should have received an email confirming their status and informing them about next steps. If you participated and did not receive an email regarding your status, please contact your Certification Specialist at the ABOS offices.

Knowledge Sources for the 2022 ABOS WLA will be posted in January. In 2022, there will be additional Knowledge Sources to choose from in a new General Orthopaedic Principles category. These Knowledge Sources will be applicable to all subspecialties, and participants will be able to choose Knowledge Sources from this category if they desire. The ABOS is currently working with our Knowledge Source Groups to select all the 2022 ABOS WLA Knowledge Sources. Additional information will be forthcoming.

The ABOS WLA Pathway would not be possible without the dedication of many ABOS volunteers. Volunteer ABOS Diplomates selected Knowledge Sources, wrote questions, and assisted in an item quality control process to make this year’s ABOS WLA a success. We are also indebted to the many journal editors and publishers for making the Knowledge Source content available to our Diplomates. The list of those journals can be found here:

The ABOS aims to continue to improve the ABOS WLA Knowledge Assessment Pathway each year. Based on the recent survey results, an overwhelming majority of Diplomates enjoy participating in the ABOS WLA pathway. Most have also indicated that the pathway is valuable to their practice. Please provide us with your feedback.

As a reminder, the ABOS WLA fulfills the Knowledge Assessment portion of the ABOS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. To complete ABOS’s MOC program, Diplomates are still required to submit an Application, Case List, and Continuing Medical Education/Self-Assessment Examination credits. Thank you for your support of the ABOS WLA Pathway.

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

Staff Spotlight

Mona Saniei, MPH
ABOS KSB Program Specialist

Our new American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior (ABOS KSB) Program Specialist—who is responsible for many of the aspects of the ABOS Program KSB, resident/program support, and interactions—is Mona Saniei (pronounced San-Ee).

While Mona was born in Virginia, she is happy to call North Carolina home. Mona holds an MPH from Eastern Virginia Medical School/Old Dominion University and was a doctoral candidate in Health Services Research when she moved to North Carolina and started working with the University of North Carolina-Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Mona has worked through many research and administrative challenges that have helped her bring a unique perspective to her position at the ABOS. She has an unyielding personal respect for the orthopaedic profession.

When not in the office, she has diverse interests to keep her busy, including Pilates, playing and listening to classical/jazz music, building model trains with her son, and perusing international cookbooks.

Mona can answer your questions about the ABOS KSB Program and can be reached at or 919-929-7103.

Welcome Mona!

Aaron S. White, MBA, MJur
Chief Operating Officer, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

ABOS Is Coming To You

While you can always call or email the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), we want to make it even easier for you to have your questions concerning Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification answered. Now that many orthopaedic societies are having in-person meetings again, you will find ABOS staff members at many of these meetings. Look for our display either in the exhibit hall or near registration.

In May, we attended the POSNA Annual Meeting in Dallas. In July, the ABOS was at the AOSSM-AANA Combined Annual Meeting being held in Nashville. At the end of August, the ABOS will have a large presence at AAOS’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. Our booth will be in Academy Hall. ABOS staff will attend additional meetings in the fall of 2021.

The ABOS’s presence at these meetings provides a good opportunity for you to talk one-on-one with ABOS Certification Specialists and other ABOS Staff. Our team is there to walk you through any questions that you may have on Board Certification, Maintenance of Certification, or Subspecialty Certification.

You can also visit us to receive an ABOS Board Certified lapel pin and proudly display your “ABOS Board Certified” status.

Stop by and say “hi!”

Many CME and SAE Options

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) believes in the importance of lifelong learning. That is why the ABOS requires Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) credits as part of the ABOS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. ABOS Diplomates have considerable flexibility in choosing activities that support their continual improvement related to patient care and that are relevant to their practice.

In each 10-year ABOS MOC cycle, ABOS Diplomates must earn 240 credits of orthopaedic-related CME, 40 of which need to be SAE credits. Half of those credits must be earned during the first three years of the MOC cycle in order for a Diplomate to be considered “Participating in MOC.” The remaining CME and SAE must be earned by the time of Recertification Application submission.

The main requirement for CME is that the activity must be related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Acceptable activities must be ACCME or AMA PRA Category 1 CME, and the title on the certificate must indicate that it is an orthopaedic-related activity. You are likely already earning CME credits to maintain your state medical licensure. On the ABOS’s website, there is a list of the types of activities that are acceptable in meeting the ABOS MOC CME requirements; the ABOS regularly updates the list: If you participate in the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment Pathway (ABOS WLA), you will receive CME credits for that activity courtesy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

SAEs are an important part of lifelong learning as well. With most activities being worth 10 credits, ABOS Diplomates generally need to undertake four of these activities over the course of their 10-year MOC cycle. Many Diplomates choose scored and recorded examinations to meet the SAE requirements. There are also other opportunities to fulfill the SAE requirement including participation in registries, physician scorecards, and other activities. You can view all ABOS-approved SAE activities at

After earning CME and SAE credits, Diplomates can upload the corresponding certificates of completion directly to their ABOS Diplomate Dashboard. In addition, all CME and SAE activities that have been claimed through the AAOS Online Learning Portfolio are automatically transferred to the ABOS daily. For that to occur, an ABOS Diplomate must have their AAOS ID number on file with the ABOS. ABOS staff review each activity and approve all that are Category 1 and relevant to the field of orthopaedic surgery.

CMEs and SAEs are one critical part of the ABOS MOC Program. The other three parts include:

Professional Standing
A Diplomate must have and maintain an unrestricted medical license. In addition, they must hold either hospital or surgicenter admitting and surgical privileges. The ABOS does have a recertification option for Diplomates who are no longer operating. Those Diplomates should contact the ABOS for more information.

Knowledge Assessment
ABOS Diplomates may choose from three major categories of assessments to satisfy the Knowledge Assessment portion of the ABOS MOC program:

  • ABOS Computer-Based Recertification Examination
  • ABOS Oral Recertification Examination
  • ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA)

Practice Improvement
The ABOS accomplishes Practice Improvement evaluation by utilizing the ABOS Peer Review Program and by evaluating a Case List for each Diplomate during each ABOS MOC 10-year cycle.

If you have any questions about how to meet the ABOS MOC requirements, please contact your Certification Specialist, who can be found at

ABOS Selects Four Outstanding Residents for Advisory Panel

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) has selected four orthopaedic surgery residents to participate in its new ABOS Resident Advisory Panel. More than 80 exceptional orthopaedic residents from across the country applied for two-year terms on the Panel.

The first group of orthopaedic residents to join the Panel consists of the following highly qualified individuals:

  • Matthew Booth , MD, Washington University
  • Erik Fritz, MD, University of Minnesota
  • Alex Gu, MD, George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Madeline Lyons, MD, Loyola University Medical Center

The ABOS Resident Advisory Panel will assist the ABOS by providing information that will be used to support orthopaedic residents across the country. They will work with the ABOS Graduate Medical Education (GME) Committee and the ABOS Communications Task Force.

All applicants submitted an application, curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, and a letter of recommendation from their residency program director. These materials were carefully reviewed by members of the ABOS GME Committee.

“Orthopaedic surgery residency education standards are an important part of the ABOS’s mission to protect the public,” said ABOS Executive Medical Director David F. Martin, MD. “We are excited to work with orthopaedic surgery residents, as they help the Board in making decisions affecting residency education.”


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