Orthopedic Surgeons Have a Choice for Board Certification
At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we feel strongly that orthopedic surgeons deserve to have a choice when it comes to board certification. For this reason, we developed the Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery® (BCOS) – a member board dedicated to providing board certification and recertification to experienced physicians who can demonstrate a mastery of the core concepts and competencies that define the specialty.
The important thing to understand about the BCOS is that it provides the exact same standard of Board Certification as competing organizations. To be eligible, physician candidates must not only meet minimum requirements but also pass a psychometrically validated ABPS examination that assesses practical knowledge in the specialty. For generations, Board Certification has arguably been the single most valued indicator of a physician’s expertise in his or her specialty area, and BCOS Board Certification carries significant weight in all 50 states. However, there are also many distinguishing factors that set the BCOS apart on an institutional level from competing physician certifying organizations.
Lawrence Stein, M.D., FAASOS, is an orthopedic surgeon who has been a Diplomate of the BCOS since 1996. As he explains, the ABPS is an organization that “gives the individual physician a real voice with the opportunity to be heard regarding the governance, business, and examination development process.” From a practical standpoint, this quality is extremely beneficial to our Diplomates because they know that the BCOS and the ABPS both work tirelessly to ensure that our Board Certified physicians have every opportunity to excel and advance in their specialty area.
Moreover, the ABPS is a collegial organization that provides physicians with the opportunity to develop meaningful personal and professional relationships. This community of like-minded physicians work together to share best practices, pass along job openings, and help the specialty of Orthopedic Surgery evolve to meet the growing demands of the public.
Eligibility Requirements of the BCOS
To be eligible to apply for initial board certification in orthopedic surgery, an applicant must first satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS. These include being a graduate of a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine, and holding a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, its territories, or Canada. In addition, the Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery (BCOS) has its own eligibility requirements that include completion of both an accredited internship and orthopedic surgery residency.
Orthopedic Surgery Certification Exams
After applicants are deemed eligible, they must pass both a written and an oral exam in order to earn initial board certification in orthopedic surgery. Candidates must pass the written exam first before taking the oral component. The written certification exam consists of 200 multiple-choice items and is administered over a four-hour session. Once granted, BCOS certification is good for eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year. Recertification in orthopedic surgery has its own requirements and application criteria.
BCOS certification is certainly challenging, but it ensures that only the most dedicated physicians earn the distinction. With BCOS certification, orthopedic surgeons become more marketable to potential employers, enjoy more opportunities for career advancement, which can lead to greater earnings, and gain recognition and respect from medical colleagues.
To learn more about the BCOS, our eligibility requirements, and the advantages to pursuing board certification in orthopedic surgery through our organization, contact the ABPS today.