Orthopedic Surgeons Have a Choice for Board Certification

Orthopedic Surgeons Choice | BCOSAt 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.



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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine