American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Diplomate E-Newsletter Winter 2020

Posted On: January 13, 2020

President’s Message

On January 2, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) posted 152 Knowledge Sources for this year’s ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment Program (ABOS WLA). If you are eligible to participate in 2020, I highly recommend that you log in to your new ABOS Dashboard, view the Knowledge Sources, and consider participating in the program. I also believe you will find the new-look ABOS Dashboard very helpful. The staff has worked very hard to improve the functionality of our Dashboard, and the latest rendition is, to my mind, outstanding.

We heard from many Diplomates last year that they thought the ABOS WLA was valuable to their practices and an effective way to meet the Knowledge Assessment requirement of ABOS Maintenance of Certification. Besides making a few technical tweaks, the biggest difference for 2020 is that you will know in advance from which Knowledge Source each question will come. You will still need to choose your Knowledge Sources prior to answering your first question, but by knowing which Knowledge Source the next question will be coming from, this will allow you the most time to review the Knowledge Source.

Like last year, you will need to pick 15 Knowledge Sources. This year, there are 152 Knowledge Sources—101 new Knowledge Sources and 51 carried over from last year. You cannot pick articles that you have previously selected. The Knowledge Sources have been chosen by a great group of practicing orthopaedic surgeons who were recommended by the Academy and the specialty societies.

Last year, everyone who participated in the ABOS WLA had to review an article on opioids. This year the ABOS has decided to feature and require an article on physician wellness. Even if you are not going to participate in the ABOS WLA, I highly recommend that you read this article. The ABOS Board of Directors takes the responsibility seriously of picking a timely topic for the required ABOS WLA Knowledge Source that will be beneficial to all orthopaedic surgeons, no matter their specialty.

As the passing standard for the ABOS WLA depends on when your Certificate expires, I recommend that you visit this site (here) and choose your expiration date on the left-hand menu. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Certification Specialist. All our Certification Specialists are knowledgeable and eager to assist you.

More information on the ABOS WLA Program can be found here:

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

Executive Medical Director’s Report

Communication with Diplomates is very important to the ABOS. Our communications should be clear, concise, and relevant. We have made several changes recently that I think you will appreciate.

In December of 2019, we made a major update to your Diplomate Portal. When you log in, your Maintenance of Certification (MOC) status is immediately evident. While you may have to scroll a bit, everything is on one page and should be easy to find. We want you to quickly be able to know where you are and see exactly what you need to do to keep your ABOS Board Certification up to date. With this new set up, you can also easily and clearly see all the components of the MOC process. You can also use the Portal to volunteer, download the ABOS widget, or print a verification letter. To access the Portal, go to and click “login.” We are continuing to make improvements to the Portal, based on Diplomate feedback, and would highly value any suggestions you may have.

Earlier this month, the ABOS launched a podcast. The first episode was a 10-minute overview of the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) program. In this podcast we answer many of the frequently asked questions that our Diplomates have concerning that program. We anticipate that new podcast episodes will be posted online monthly. The podcasts will be designed to help busy orthopaedic surgeons learn more about the ABOS and keep their Board Certification current. You can find all of ABOS’s podcasts at and through most major podcast platforms including Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher.

While we are excited about the new ABOS Diplomate Portal and the ABOS Podcast Series, the main way that we reach you is through email. Please ensure that the ABOS has your correct email address. You can easily update it yourself by logging into your Portal and clicking on “update profile” at the top of the page. We respect your email inbox and will only send emails that are specifically relevant to you. For instance, with the recent 2020 ABOS WLA launch, we sent four versions of an email announcement depending on each Diplomate’s Certification expiration date and Certification status. If you are not eligible for the 2020 ABOS WLA, you did not receive an email. You may have also noticed that last year we changed the Diplomate e-newsletter from a monthly to a quarterly publication.

We post information daily to Twitter and several times a week to Facebook and LinkedIn. We invite you to follow us, so you have another way to know what’s happening.

We are always striving to improve our programs and processes. Please send me your feedback, and let me know how we are doing by emailing me at

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

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Announces Its 2019-2020 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) recently selected its 2019-2020 Officers and elected two new Directors-Elect.

Rick W. Wright, MD, Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Vanderbilt University, will serve as ABOS President. He, along with the President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary, hold their offices for one one-year term.

Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, William A. Hark, MD and Susanne G. Swift Professor and Chairman, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, will serve as ABOS Vice President.

Michael S. Bednar, MD, Chief of Hand Surgery and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University – Chicago, will serve as ABOS President-Elect.

John Flynn, MD, Richard M. Armstrong Jr. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of Orthopedics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 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 re-elected as ABOS Treasurer for a one-year term.

The Board also elected two Directors-Elect: Charles L. Nelson, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of Adult Reconstruction, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Lisa A. Taitsman, MD, MPH, Professor of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine.

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 elected by other Board members. For a full list of ABOS Board Members, go to

MOC Application Opening Soon + Webinar

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Recertification/Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Application becomes available on March 1. The Case List is open now. Diplomates whose Certificates expire in 2021, 2022, and 2023 are eligible to apply. All Diplomates whose Certification expires in 2021 must apply this year or their Certification will lapse, and they will be required to take an Oral Recertification Examination in order to regain ABOS Board Certification.

All Diplomates, regardless of which Knowledge Assessment option that they choose (ABOS Computer-Based Recertification Examination, ABOS Oral Recertification Examination, or ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment) must submit an Application and Case List during their 10-year ABOS MOC Cycle.

To apply, Diplomates must complete the following by 4 pm ET on November 2, 2020:

  • Application
  • Case List of all surgical cases in 2020, starting with the first case of this year. Once 75 cases are submitted, you can stop.
  • Application Fee
  • 240 Continuing Medical Education credits, of which 40 are Self-Assessment Examination credits

For more information go to

In addition, ABOS Executive Medical Director Dr. David Martin will host a webinar on the MOC application process on Tuesday, February 18, at 6 pm ET. To register, go here.


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