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Verification of Certification and Board Status FAQ

15. How do I document completion of a SAE?

The CME granting organization will provide the correct answers and information for self study, as well as written verification of participation in the SAE exercise after scoring of your SAE has been completed. These credits will be specified as SAE and can then be reported by you to the ABOS.

16. How do I report CME and SAE to the ABOS?

Documentation of the CME credits is the responsibility of the diplomate. Documentation must be reported by the diplomate directly to the ABOS. Detailed instructions will be included in the ABOS MOC information available on the ABOS website.

17. What is the reason for testing of cognitive knowledge?

Evaluation of cognitive expertise involves demonstration by that diplomate that he/she commands a satisfactory fund of knowledge to practice orthopaedic surgery. The diplomate will be required at least once every 10 years to take and pass a secure examination designed to demonstrate to the profession and the public at large that the candidate is maintaining a sufficient body of knowledge for certification in orthopaedic surgery.

18. What is a secure examination?

A secure examination, either Computer-based or Oral, is one given in a secure location in a closed book fashion. It assures that the person taking the examination is actually the same person who applied to take the examination.

19. What is the earliest that a diplomate may take the secure examination?

When the MOC Process is fully implemented, the earliest that the diplomate may apply to take either the Computer-based or Oral examination is three years before the current certificate expires. Completion and documentation of the two cycles of CME/SAE are required before submitting the application to the ABOS.

Upon receipt of the MOC application, the ABOS will begin a formal credentialing process. Following the successful completion of the credentialing process, the applicant will be admitted to take an examination.

20. What are the pathways for evaluation of Cognitive Expertise?

At present, the ABOS offers six options for the secure examination. These include practice-profiled, multiple choice, Computer Based Tests (CBT) for 1) General Orthopaedic Surgery, 2) Adult Reconstructive Surgery, 3) Spine Surgery, and 4) Orthopaedic Sports Medicine.

5) A computer administered orthopaedic specialty examination for Surgery of the Hand is available only to those individuals who hold a Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand.

All Computer-based examination include questions on "core orthopaedic knowledge" including those related to Ethics and Patient Communication, among others.

6) The Practice Based Oral examination may be selected as a pathway for the MOC process provided that the diplomate is engaged in the operative care of patients. If a diplomate selects the practice based oral examination, this pathway will also fulfill the requirements for the 4th Component of MOC, Evaluation of Performance in Practice.

The practice-profiled computer administered examinations are available during a two month period each year (March and April ) at various testing sites across the country. The oral examinations are available once each year in Chicago.

The Combined CAQSH examination is available during a four week period in the fall.

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery contracts with the National Board of Medical Examiners to assist with the editing, production and psychometric evaluation of all of the written, i.e. computer-administered, examinations. Analysis for reliability and validity is performed solely by the NBME and the aggregate data for these examinations is available in the ABOS Diplomate as well as on the ABOS website, www.abos.org.

21. How will the ABOS MOC process evaluate a non-operating orthopaedist?

The non-operating Orthopaedist will be required to participate in the MOC process in order to maintain board certification. He/she must undergo the same credentialing process, must document CME and SAE, must take a secure examination, must participate in patient surveys when these are available, and must submit a case list of consecutive new patients evaluated and treated in his/her practice. The number of cases to be submitted and documented is currently set at 30 for this category of Orthopaedist.

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