American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Orthopaedic Resident E-Newsletter Winter 2023

Posted On: February 21, 2023

ABOS GME Chair Message

This is an exciting time at the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) regarding our work with orthopaedic surgery residents.

As mentioned in the last issue, the ABOS has partnered with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) on a linking process that can roughly approximate the score needed on the AAOS’ Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE) to correspond to a minimum passing level on the ABOS Part I Examination. In the next few months, you will get an email from the ABOS on how to access your ABOS Dashboard where your score and the linking information will be available. This will be updated yearly as the ABOS receives your OITE scores.

Currently, only residents whose residency programs are participating in the ABOS Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior Program (ABOS KSB) have access to the Dashboard, but soon, all orthopaedic surgery residents will have access. More than 80 orthopaedic surgery residency programs are currently participating with additional programs joining regularly.

Thank you to all of the residents, Program Directors, and Program Coordinators who have provided us feedback regarding the ABOS KSB Program. We have implemented many of your suggestions and we will continue to use your feedback to make improvements. We are committed to advancing the program to meet the needs of residents and residency programs. Additional benefits in the program are coming later this year. Stay tuned.

All surgeons need feedback to become better. Feedback, self-assessment, and continual improvement are an important part of a surgeon’s career. Prior to entering independent practice, residency is a perfect time to receive valuable feedback, and the ABOS KSB Program provides simple and effective tools for such. Even after becoming ABOS Board Certified, Diplomates receive Case List Feedback Reports to see how the procedures they performed compare to those of their peers. These reports can guide surgeons in choosing appropriate Continuing Medical Education activities.

When presenting the ABOS KSB Program to new programs, we sometimes get asked about how time consuming it is for residents and attendings. It takes about 30 seconds for residents to enter an assessment request, which is done online or through a smartphone app. Faculty immediately receive the evaluation request and can complete the reviews in just a few minutes. Residents have told us that the feedback they receive, especially in the comments section, is particularly valuable. Additionally, the surgical skills feedback is provided in real time rather that at the end of the rotation.

Much of medicine, not just orthopaedic surgery, is moving towards competency-based medical education. The Board believes that the ABOS is a trailblazer in the implementation of this important initiative, and we ask for your help in moving forward.

Lisa A. Taitsman, MD, MPH
Chair, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Graduate Medical Education Committee

Executive Director Report

While many orthopaedic surgeons think that the role of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) begins at the end of residency with the ABOS Part I Examination, the ABOS also sets standards for orthopaedic surgery residency education and has been doing so for nearly 90 years.

When medical specialty boards were being formed in the early 1930s, the American Medical Association stated that the boards’ purposes included assisting “in improving the quality of graduate education” and establishing “minimum education and training standards.” While the ABOS does not provide curricula, it has helped define, maintain, and update those standards as necessary for many years.

Historically, the standards have been based on specific rotations of a set length. While that will likely continue, the ABOS is now working on helping to define competency standards for orthopaedic surgery residents. More than 80 orthopaedic surgery residency programs are enrolled in the ABOS Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior Program and that number continues to grow. Program Directors can use the three facets of this program to assist them in determining, through the use of validated assessment tools, if a resident has the orthopaedic knowledge, surgical skills, and professional behavior to be a safe, competent orthopaedic surgeon. For you, as a resident, it can show which areas you are mastering and which areas you may need additional assistance. It provides formative feedback during your rotations and gives you the ability to request feedback from attendings.

In the 1940s, when orthopaedic surgery residencies were only three years long, the ABOS required six months in basic sciences, six months in fracture management, 12 months in pediatric orthopaedic surgery, and 12 months of adult orthopaedic surgery. Over time the requirements changed, with the biggest change coming in 1978, when five years of post-graduate education became the norm. The ABOS Rules and Procedures indicate the requirements as of now.

The ABOS has always had several of its Directors sit on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Review Committee (ACGME RC), which reviews the accreditation of orthopaedic surgery residency programs. While the Review Committee has changed over the years, the ABOS has been part of it since its founding in 1953. Part of the ABOS mission is to make sure that orthopaedic surgery residency programs—allopathic and osteopathic—are properly training the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons, thus fulfilling the Board’s mission to protect the public. It is important to start this process during residency to ensure that after five years, residents are prepared to enter the workforce as competent orthopaedic surgeons.

The ABOS has now had an ABOS Resident Advisory Panel (ABOS RAP) for three years. the Board wants to hear feedback directly from residents and this Panel has provided that opportunity. While several of our Directors are or have been Program Directors, the Board believes it is important to learn from residents. Without the Panel, the ABOS would not have known that few residents understood the relationship between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) Orthopaedic In-Training Examination and the ABOS Part I Examination. The linking process between those two examinations provides valuable information to residents and the ABOS RAP helped to improve communications about the linking, along with several others.

As orthopaedic surgery residents, the ABOS welcomes your feedback. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions as they arise during your education.

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

ABOS Resident Advisory Panel Application Open

For the past two years, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) has greatly benefited from engagement with residents through the ABOS Resident Advisory Panel (ABOS RAP). There have been eight outstanding residents who have served on the panel, and the ABOS is looking to add additional residents later this year. If you are currently a PGY1, PGY2, or PGY3 resident in orthopaedic surgery, please consider applying.

The ABOS Resident Advisory Panel supplies the ABOS with valuable input from a resident perspective and provides a voice for orthopaedic residents as the ABOS considers Graduate Medical Education requirements and Board Certification issues. In addition to being a great networking opportunity, the group has provided recommendations to the ABOS Graduate Medical Education and Communication Committee as well as working on projects that the Board has started implementing. The Panel meets several times a year virtually and annually in-person at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting. The ABOS reimburses panelists for any expenses incurred in the two-year term of service. Members of the panel are often invited to participate in summits and other ABOS meetings that require resident input.

The application deadline is March 1. PGY2+3 residents who have previously applied to the Resident Advisory Panel are encouraged to apply again. More information can be found here:

Apply to be a Visiting Scholar

For the ninth consecutive year, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) has partnered with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in sponsoring the Visiting Scholars Program for early-career physician specialists and research professionals.

ABOS-ABMS Visiting Scholars remain at their home organizations and work with self-selected mentors. They participate in interactive webinars where they provide research project updates to their peers and a select panel of subject matter experts. Visiting Scholars alumni provide guidance, support, and solutions to barriers current Scholars may be experiencing in their research work.

The program is open to early-career physicians, medical and surgical specialists, and research professionals, junior faculty, fellows, and residents, as well as individuals holding master or doctorate degrees in public health, health services research, educational evaluation and statistics, public health policy and administration, or other relevant disciplines.

The program facilitates research projects related to Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification and allows Scholars to be exposed to research on professional assessment, medical education, health policy, and quality improvement.

Visiting Scholars are selected based on the quality of their proposed research project, the relevance of their research to the ABMS certification community priorities, and the likelihood of making substantial progress on the project during the year.

To learn more about previous ABOS-ABMS Visiting Scholars and the type of research they conducted, go to Additional information, including this year’s deadline, will be posted soon.

ABOS Announces Its 2022-2023 Board of Directors

In September 2022, the Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) 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 the 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 the ABOS Vice President over the next year.

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 for 2022-2023.

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

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


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