Updated ABPS Requirements for Orthopedic Surgery Candidates

Updated Requirements for Orthopedic Surgery Candidates Physicians seeking board certification choose the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) because we’re nationally recognized and highly respected throughout the healthcare industry. ABPS Diplomates practice in some of the nation’s most prestigious healthcare institutions and can be found in all 50 states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Although the eligibility requirements for ABPS certification differ among our various Member Boards, at minimum the ABPS requires that physicians have an undergraduate college degree as well as:

  • A medical school degree
  • Substantial, identifiable training, such as an accredited residency and active practice experience in specific specialty or sub-specialty
  • A valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine

Recently, the ABPS updated eligibility requirements for our Member Board, the Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery (BCOS). In the past, BCOS required that candidates present evidence of two years of active post-residency experience and a case log of at least 200 surgical procedures. Now, candidates can apply for certification as soon as they complete their residency.

To earn BCOS certification, candidates must sit for a written exam that consists of 200 clinically-relevant, practice-based questions. Once they pass the written exam, they must then present evidence of at least 18 continuous months of active practice experience in a single facility and a case log of at least 100 surgical procedures performed in the preceding 12-month period before the oral exam.

The BCOS certification process is indeed rigorous, but the skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who achieve certification join a distinguished community of orthopedic surgeons committed to providing exceptional medical care. Additionally, as a mark of a physician’s credential, BCOS certification affords physicians more opportunities for career advancement with the potential for higher earnings.

If you’re considering applying for certification in orthopedic surgery, contact the ABPS for detailed information about the eligibility requirements of the BCOS. As the only multi-specialty certifying body that requires its Diplomates to complete a medical ethics course, the ABPS is renowned for providing hospitals and health care facilities with dedicated professionals who put patients first.

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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.

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