What does it mean to be certified by the
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons?
In order to be allowed to begin the process of becoming Board-certified, a surgeon must be a graduate of an accredited four-year medical school and have successfully completed a five-year accredited orthopaedic residency program in the United States or Canada. The final 24 months of the training must be obtained in a single program.
Part I: Computer-Based Examination
- Orthopaedic surgeons who have completed an accredited residency may apply and be admitted to take the computer-based examination. This examination, which is a timed, secure, computer-administered exam, consists of approximately 320 questions covering all of orthopaedics. It involves eight hours of testing.
- The questions are produced by orthopaedic surgeons, with the help and professional guidance of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
- Dr. Apazidis scored in the 93rd percentile nationwide on this rigorous exam that encapsulated areas such as oncology, trauma, spine, sports, joint replacement, pediatrics, hand surgery, neurology, rheumatology, and rehab medicine.
Part II: The Oral Examination
- After passing Part I, Candidates have a period of five years to apply for and pass the Part II Oral Examination. In order to be admitted to the Oral Examination, a Candidate must have a full and unrestricted medical license and have been in practice for 20 months in one location, association, and affiliation. The candidate must have excellent peer review from Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons who are familiar with their work and is also reviewed by the hospital chief of staff, chiefs of orthopaedics, surgery, anesthesia, and nursing staff in the operating room. This information is reviewed by the Credentials Committee of the ABOS, who will decide which Candidates are admitted to sit for the Part II Examination.
- Once admitted to take the Oral Examination, a Candidate must submit a list of all surgical cases performed during a defined six-month period. The case lists must be verified by medical records directors at each facility in which the candidate operates. Those case lists are reviewed by volunteer Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons, and 12 cases are selected for presentation.
- The examination consists of 2 hours of examination time. The examiners independently grade each case presentation on data gathering and interpretation, diagnosis, treatment plan, technical skill, outcomes, and applied knowledge. In addition, the case list is evaluated on surgical indications, handling of complications, ethics, and professionalism.
After passing the ABOS Part II Examination, a surgeon receives a Board Certification Certificate and becomes a Diplomate of the ABOS for 10 years.
What does it mean to be re-certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons?
- Part I: Evidence of Professional Standing, which is assessed with peer review, confirmation of full and unrestricted licensure in all jurisdictions where a license is held, and hospital credentials.
- Part II: Evidence of Life-Long Learning and Self-Assessment, which is addressed through 240 credits of Category 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) that include a minimum of 40 CME credits of Self-Assessment Examinations (SAE).
- Part III: Evidence of Cognitive Expertise, which occurs through a recertification assessment pathway and required at 10 year intervals.
- Part IV: Evidence of Performance in Practice, focuses on quality improvement model that includes a stringent peer review process and submission of case lists. The Board will obtain peer review of the candidate from certified orthopaedic surgeons who are familiar with their work, and get evaluations from the hospital chief of staff, chief of orthopaedics, surgery, anesthesia, and nursing staff in the operating room and orthopaedic wards. This information is reviewed by the credentials committee of the ABOS, who will decide which applicants are admitted to sit for the recertification examination.