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Verification of Certification and Board Status FAQ

22. What if the orthopaedist is not involved in any patient care? How will he/she be able to maintain board certification?

An Orthopaedist who is not involved in direct patient care, but who wishes to maintain board certification status may participate in the MOC process. He/she will undergo the same credentialing process, must document CME and SAE, and take a secure examination. Currently, there is no requirement for the Orthopaedist not in active care of patients for specific activity to fulfill the fourth component of MOC (Evaluation of Performance in Practice), but this will likely change.

The non-clinical status of the Non-operating orthopaedic surgeon must be reported to the ABOS. If the Orthopaedist wishes to return to operative or non-operative patient care, the ABOS must be notified and the fourth component requirements must be fulfilled within 18 months.

23. Could the MOC credentialing process (Component #4) be linked to the Professional Compliance Program?


The ABOS MOC credentialing process stringently investigates the professional status of the orthopaedist.

The AAOS Professional Compliance Program is a separate program, by a different Professional organization.

The ABOS holds the diplomate orthopaedist to high standards of all aspects of ethical and professional practice whether this involves operative or non-operative patient care, or non-clinical activities including administrative and medical-legal work.

24. What if a diplomate has a certificate with no expiration date, i.e. a life-time certificate?

Board certification is a voluntary process. Prior to 1986 there was no time limit on board certification. Beginning in 1986 all new ABOS certificates were issued for a period of ten years. If an orthopaedic surgeon has a certificate issued in 1985 or earlier, that certification is not time-limited. All Board certified orthopaedic surgeons are encouraged to participate in MOC. If a diplomate successfully completes the MOC process he/she will receive a time-limited certificate. This second certificate will not nullify the original certificate that remains good for life.

25. If a Diplomate has a certificate that is not time-limited and fails recertification what would be the effect on the original certificate?

In the event that an orthopaedic surgeon participates in MOC and fails an examination, there will be no effect on the original certification status.

26. Will there be an Emeritus recertification classification? ( i.e. after a certain age will recertification no longer be time-limited?)


27. How will MOC affect state licensure?

The MOC program is a voluntary program administered by the member Boards of the ABMS. State Licensure is a governmental regulatory activity administered by State Boards of Medical Examiners, many of which require evidence of ongoing professional education and development. The ABOS does not have and does not seek any authority over state licensing decisions. Please refer to individual State Board of Medical Examiners for particulars.

28. What happens if a State Board of Medical Examiners takes disciplinary action against a diplomate?

Loss of or restrictions to a diplomate state license is reportable to the ABOS, constitutes grounds for revocation of Board Certification, and will result in a review by the ABOS credentials committee.

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