CertificationThe American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery recognizes that you are completing your training in Orthopedic Surgery. The information in the booklets on this Website will assist you in proceeding through the Board certification process. Board certification in Orthopedic Surgery is administered by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery for the American Osteopathic Association. It requires completion of a written examination, an oral examination, and a clinical review. The clinical review consists of a chart audit and observation of surgical cases. The documents on this Website include instructions and applications for completion of the Board certification process.

The American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery was established in 1978 and exists primarily for the purpose of assisting newly trained orthopedic surgeons in the certification process. The AOBOS is governed by a Constitution and Bylaws.

Starting in 1994, you will be granted a 10 year certification and be required to complete an OCC Cycle Examination every 10 years thereafter. This examination will be administered by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

All the information necessary to complete the board certification process is included on this Website. Please read it carefully. There is a charge for duplicate handbooks ordered from the AOBOS, however the documents may be downloaded and printed, free of charge, from this website.


Certification for Osteopathic Orthopedic Surgeons was originally under the jurisdiction of the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery until the mid 1970's. The American Osteopathic Board of Surgery had one Orthopedist Member, Dr. Donald Siehl. The Orthopedic Examination for Certification (written, oral, and clinical) was given by Orthopedic Surgeons. Due to the increasing number of Residency Programs in the Osteopathic Profession in Orthopedic Surgery, and therefore the increase in number of graduates, the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics began to lobby the American Osteopathic Association in the mid 1970's to form a Certifying Board for Orthopedic Surgeons.

A Committee was selected by the AOAO consisting of Peter Johnston from Columbus, OH; Dean Olson from Lansing, MI; Seymour Kaufman from Cherry Hill, NJ; William Monaghan from Kansas City, MO; and Bill Smith from Phoenix, AZ. This Committee began to develop the bylaws, regulations, and Manual of Procedures for the new Board, the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery. The AOA approved formation of the AOBOS in mid 1978. The members of the Committee then became the founding members of the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery. The first certification examination under their jurisdiction was given in 1979.

The first Chairman of the Board was Dr. Peter Johnston. The first Secretary-Treasurer was Dr. Dean Olson who served in this capacity until 1988. Membership on the Board attempted to represent the geographical areas reflecting larger concentrations of Orthopedic Surgeons. Some of the other Orthopedists who contributed by serving on the Board in its early days were Dr. William Luebbert, Dr. Bernard Zeliger, Dr. Gordon Thorn, Dr. Peter Ajluni, and Dr. Roger Grimes. Dr. Robert Kaneda began service on the Board in 1984 and developed the ties between the AOBOS and the National Board of Examiners. The NBME developed with Dr. Kaneda the AOBOS Test Committee to update the written and oral examinations.

The initial members of this Committee, besides Dr. Kaneda as its Chairman, were Dr. Mark Stabile, Dr. Thomas McCarthy, Dr. Keith Harvie, Dr. Roger Cameron, Dr. Mark Stover, Dr. Roy Gorin, Dr. Steven Habusta, Dr. Terry Weis, Dr. Michael Mitrick, and Dr. Ronald Zipper.

The present members of the Board are appointed for a three year term and an optional two term renewal for a total of nine years. Members of the Test Committee and Standard Setting Committee are appointed by the Board based on their performance in both the written and oral examinations and a recommendation from their senior clinical examiner. They serve for a five year term. The Board continues to work closely with the National Board of Medical Examiners as its consultant.

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