ABPS has been providing board certifications for more than 50 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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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
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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