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.

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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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine