Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery (BCOS)

Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery (BCOS)The orthopedic surgery board certification exams offered by American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) enables successful candidates to present themselves to the public as qualified medical specialists in orthopedic surgery. Completing the orthopedic surgery board certification exams indicates mastery of orthopedic surgery skills and knowledge, as well as a professional commitment to adhere to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics.

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.

The Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery (BCOS) has its own eligibility requirements that include:

  • Completing a PGY-1 program or accredited internship and an ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency in orthopedic surgery, or an orthopedic surgery residency accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • Demonstrating evidence of having performed at least 200 surgical procedures on one’s own initiative
  • Submitting a current curriculum vitae that includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order
  • Submitting two letters of recommendation from Diplomates of an ABPS, ABMS, AOA, or RCPSC board of certification

After applicants are deemed eligible, they must pass both a written and an oral exam in order to earn board certification in orthopedic surgery. The written exam consists of 200 multiple-choice items and is administered over a four-hour session. The exams evaluate practical, or skill-based, principles utilized in orthopedic surgery, as opposed to knowledge gained through memorization. Candidates must pass the written exam in order to take the oral component. For information about dates and fees for the application and the exams, click here.

For the 2018 examination schedule, click here. For the 2019 schedule, click here.

Once granted, all ABPS certificates are good for a period of eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.

The ABPS invites qualified applicants to apply for certification in orthopedic surgery. BCOS certification carries weight in all 50 states, and BCOS Diplomates practice their specialty at some of the nation’s most prestigious healthcare institutions.

For more information about certification in orthopedic surgery through the BCOS, contact the ABPS today.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
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.

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