ABPS has been providing board certifications for more than 30 years.

Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery Board Certification The orthopedic surgery board certification exams offered by the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) enable physicians to present themselves to the public as qualified medical specialists in orthopedic surgery. Successfully completing the orthopedic surgery board certification exams indicates mastery of orthopedic surgery knowledge and skills, 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. 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. For those candidates who have trained outside of the Untied States and Canda, there is an academic pathway to board certification.

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. 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.

Clearly, certification is a demanding process, but it ensures that only the most talented and dedicated practitioners earn the distinction. As a mark of a physician’s credentials, BCOS certification:

  • Makes physicians more marketable to potential employers
  • Affords them more opportunities for career advancement, which can lead to greater earnings
  • Fosters recognition and respect from medical colleagues

BCOS certification also benefits patients and the medical facilities that serve them by:

  • Assuring patients that a certified orthopedic surgeon has the expertise to deliver exceptional orthopedic care
  • Helping hospitals and other employers verify an orthopedic surgeon’s credentials and identify physicians as ideal candidates for career opportunities
  • Bolstering the reputation of medical organizations through the confidence it inspires in patients

The BCOS is a nationally recognized board in orthopedic surgery and has been certifying physicians since 1976. To maintain certification, our Diplomates must continue ongoing education, displaying a commitment to medical care that serves as a model for the American healthcare industry.

If you earned initial certification through the AOA or ABMS, you are eligible to recertify with the BCOS. Click here to learn more.

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

We're Committed to Matching Physician Recruiters to ABPS Board Certified Physicians

Medical recruiters can submit job openings to the ABPS Career Center free of charge. Openings are distributed digitally through the ABPS Career Bulletin, a trusted resource for ABPS board-certified physicians and other practitioners considering a career change. Physicians will be able to browse job openings by specialty. The ABPS performs this valuable service as part of our mission to help improve patient care throughout the country.

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

ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.


Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine