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.

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