American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

April 2018 Diplomate

Posted On: April 1, 2018

President’s Message

We are excited to announce the development of the ABOS Web-Based Longitudinal Assessment (ABOS WLA) pathway. Beginning in 2019, the ABOS is offering Diplomates this new pathway in order to satisfy the Knowledge Assessment portion (Part III) of the ABOS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Diplomates will still be able to choose the current Computer or Oral Assessment pathways as options for satisfying the Part III portion of the ABOS MOC Program.

Under this new pathway, each January Diplomates will be given access to a number of Knowledge Resources (journal articles, practice guidelines, AUCs, and other similar options) on the ABOS website. From these resources, Diplomates will choose 15 of these to review in-depth. In April, a five-week window will open in which Diplomates will be presented 30 questions based on the 15 Knowledge Resources that they have chosen. Three minutes will be allotted to answer each question, administered in an open-book fashion on a personal computer. The questions can be answered in multiple sittings or in one sitting. All questions must be answered during the five-week window.

A “Quality Year” under the ABOS WLA will be defined as correctly answering 24 out of the 30 questions. Five Quality Years are needed to successfully complete the ABOS WLA Pathway. Alternatively, reaching a level of 120 questions answered correctly over six years of participation can satisfy the requirement for successful completion of the ABOS WLA program. Meeting one of these standards will satisfy the Part III Knowledge Assessment requirement for the ABOS MOC program for that 10-year cycle. For those Diplomates who would like to participate in the ABOS WLA with Certificates that expire in less than five years, Certificates will be extended as long as the Diplomate is earning Quality Years. Those individuals who have their Certificates extended will have a shorter term in their next 10-year cycle. Anyone who does not meet the passing standard of the ABOS WLA will be required to take a Computer or Oral Assessment.

Those Diplomates who participate in the ABOS WLA pathway must also complete an Application and submit a Case List as well as meet the minimum standard of 240 orthopaedic-related Category 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. Forty of the 240 credits must be from scored and recorded Self-Assessment Examinations (SAE). The ABOS also obtains Peer Review as part of the MOC process.

More information is available on the ABOS website, and additional information concerning the ABOS WLA will be emailed to eligible Diplomates later this year.

Thank you to those who completed the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) survey last fall and indicated interest in an ABOS WLA program. We will enlist the help of Diplomates in testing the ABOS WLA platform to make sure it is intuitive and user-friendly. As always, I am interested in your feedback. Feel free to email directly at

Peter M. Murray, MD
President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Executive Medical Director’s Report

I am proud to be Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). I have been a Diplomate since 1991 and have had Subspecialty Certification in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine since 2007. I believe in the value of Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification and I am committed to physician self-regulation. These programs should be developed by physicians for physicians. I know that many of our Diplomates are proud as well. The ABOS has ways that you can demonstrate that pride.

Three new ABOS Board Certification logos (general, hand, and sports) have been developed. You can use these logos as a widget—interactive logo—on your website to tell your patients that you are Board Certified. To access the widget, go to your ABOS Dashboard by logging in at Click on the button that says “Board Certified Widget.” There is a brief attestation that you need to acknowledge. You will then be presented with HTML code that you can provide to your web administrator to place on your website. As a widget, it will automatically link to the ABOS website and will allow us to update the widget if necessary.

In addition, ABOS Board Certified logo lapel pins and window clings were available at the ABOS Booth at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting several weeks ago in New Orleans. They were so popular that we ran out of the pins! It was great seeing Diplomates wear them at the meeting. We will have additional pins and window clings at the meetings listed in the email that you received announcing this issue of The Diplomate.

Finally, we are working on a website designed specifically for patients that will demonstrate the value of choosing a Board Certified orthopaedic surgeon. Work has started on this project and plans are in place to launch it in the summer of 2018.

You have worked hard to earn and maintain ABOS Board Certification. You should be proud of that and the ABOS is working on ways to let your patients know.

I’m always interested in hearing directly from Diplomates. If you have any questions or concerns, you can email me at

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

End of an Era

If you took the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Part I Examination after 1991, you likely communicated with Ms. Patsi Furr. Patsi has recently retired after more than a quarter century with the ABOS. By my estimate, Patsi processed the applications of over 18,000 ABOS Part I Candidates!

Patsi was one of the first employees hired when the ABOS moved its offices from Chicago to North Carolina. While Patsi has probably performed every administrative task associated with the operations of the ABOS, she was hired to oversee the ABOS Part I Examination. When Patsi was hired, the Part I Examination was still administered via paper and pencil format in a hotel ballroom in Chicago. Now, Candidates take the ABOS Part I Examination via a computer-based format at a local testing center, but there is still a considerable amount of work done to ensure Residents and Candidates meet ABOS qualifications.

If you did not have the pleasure of working with Patsi during your ABOS Part I application process, then there is a good chance you met her during the ABOS Part II Oral Examination, where she played an important role in that Examination’s administration. Patsi was generally found on the lower floor at the Palmer House Hotel and helped ease the jitters of many Candidates through her sense of humor.

Patsi regularly worked at the ABOS booth during the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting and would thoroughly enjoy catching up with Candidates and Diplomates as they progressed in their orthopaedic careers.

Patsi has always been committed to customer service, whether with Candidates, Diplomates, or Orthopaedic Residency Programs. Patsi built relationships with many Residency Program Coordinators over the years and at last month’s Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery (ARCOS) meeting, held in conjunction with the AAOS Annual Meeting, the group honored Patsi for her commitment to the Coordinators by creating the Annual Patsi Furr Coordinator Lecture. This is truly a well-deserved honor.

We thank Patsi for her 27 years of service to ABOS, and wish her well in retirement.

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


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