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

Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine