AAOS Now

Published 8/1/2014

Getting Your CME Credits from “Point A” to “Point B”

Common questions and answers about transferring credits from AAOS to ABOS

As a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, you know the importance of submitting your continuing medical education (CME) credits—including credits from scored and recorded self-assessment exams (SAE)—to meet Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements. You’re probably familiar with the Academy’s Learning Portfolio; you may even use it to track your CME credits. But how do those credits get from the AAOS to the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), and why do you have to do some “double-entry bookkeeping”?

The following frequently asked questions can help explain the differences between the online tools provided by the AAOS and the ABOS, as well as the steps involved in tracking and transferring CME credits.

Q. What is the Learning Portfolio, and how can it help track CME credits?

A. The Learning Portfolio is a personalized member benefit from the Academy. It provides you with an effective way to track your progress online as you earn CME and SAE credits.

Specifically, the Learning Portfolio enables you to do the following:

  • track CME and SAE credits earned through Academy and participating orthopaedic specialty society programs
  • based on your clinical specialty and interests, find a vast selection of educational courses and products offering CME credits, and receive alerts regarding your CME status
  • add CME credits earned through non-Academy providers, such as a hospital, specialty society, or state and regional societies, to your transcript

Visit the online Learning Portfolio (www.aaos.org/portfolio) frequently to see exactly where you are in your 10-year MOC process and to find out which MOC deadlines are approaching.

Q. What is the ABOS MOC dashboard, and how does it work?

A. As an ABOS diplomate, you can log in to www.abos.org to access your personalized MOC dashboard. This online tool streamlines the steps involved in submitting CME and SAE credits, and makes it easy to track your progress throughout the MOC process.

The dashboard guides you through the deadlines and requirements of the MOC process. With it, you can do the following:

  • view the beginning and end dates for your 10-year MOC process
  • track your progress during the two 3-year reporting cycles that lead up to the recertifying examination
  • access up-to-date information on how many CME and SAE credits are recorded
  • obtain updates about other activities needed to fulfill MOC requirements
  • determine when you will be eligible to apply for the recertifying examination

You may access your ABOS MOC dashboard to verify information such as how many CME and SAE credits you’ve earned versus how many are required and the deadline for submitting a case list (if required). Deadlines for all the various MOC requirements are clearly listed. While logged in, you should also verify that the ABOS has your current email address to the ABOS. (For more specifics about using the MOC Dashboard, see “ABOS Initiates Easy Transfer of CME Data for MOC,” AAOS Now, February 2013.)

Q. How can you transfer credits from the AAOS Learning Portfolio to the ABOS MOC Dashboard?

A. If you are recertifying by 2016, follow these instructions to transfer credits:

  • Log in to the ABOS homepage (ABOS.org), and click on the “MOC” tab.
  • Select the “CME Summary” link from the menu on the left side of the screen.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Continue” button to open the “Summary of MOC Continuing Medical Education” page (Fig. 1).
  • Click on the “Get CME Data from AAOS” button at the top of the page. Before the transfer occurs, you’ll have the opportunity to review your AAOS online transcript and to review the reminders from the ABOS at the top of the page.
  • Click the “Import” button (Fig. 2) to transfer your CME credits directly to the ABOS’ data collection tools. Click the “Cancel” button to opt not to transfer the credits.
  • Finally, open the ABOS dashboard and verify that the transfer took place. If the transfer did not occur, repeat the process and check the dashboard again. If you are still unable to transfer your credits, contact the ABOS at 919-929-7103 for assistance.

If you are recertifying in 2017 or later, you will need to follow these instructions for transferring credits:

  • Log in to the ABOS homepage (ABOS.org), and click on the “MOC” tab.
  • Select “View” and “Enter Credits.”
  • Click on the “Get CME Data from AAOS” button at the top of the page. Before the transfer occurs, you’ll have the opportunity to review your AAOS online transcript and to review the reminders from the ABOS at the top of the page.
  • Click the “Import” button to transfer your CME credits directly to the ABOS’ data collection tools. Click the “Cancel” button to opt not to transfer the credits.
  • Finally, open the ABOS dashboard and verify that the transfer took place. If the transfer did not occur, repeat the process and check the dashboard again. If you are still unable to transfer your credits, contact the ABOS at 919-929-7103 for assistance.

Q. Which organizations’ CME credits automatically appear in the AAOS transcript system (within the AAOS Learning Portfolio) and can be transferred to the ABOS?

A. CME credits earned from the following organizations appear automatically in the AAOS transcript system:

  • AAOS
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)
  • American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics
  • Cervical Spine Research Society
  • Hip Society
  • Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (Quarterly exams pre-2014)
  • KarenZupko & Associates
  • Knee Society
  • Musculoskeletal Tumor Society
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association
  • Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
  • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
  • Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons

CME credits from all of these organizations can be transferred from the AAOS transcript to the ABOS. Remember, however, that you must actually log in to the Learning Portfolio and claim the correct number of credits earned for CME and SAE activities.

The only exception pertains to credits earned from the AOSSM. If you log in to the AOSSM website (AOSSM.org) and opt in, you can make it possible for the correct number of any credits earned from AOSSM to automatically appear in your AAOS transcript.

CME credits earned from any societies that participate in the AAOS Annual Meeting Specialty Day program will automatically appear in the Learning Portfolio.

It may take several months for CME credits you earn from other organizations to show up in your AAOS transcript. Some organizations send data files after CME activities that must be uploaded by the AAOS before your credits appear in the Learning Portfolio.

Q. Why doesn’t the entire AAOS transcript get transferred to the ABOS?

A. Only CME credits awarded by the AAOS and the other organizations listed are automatically entered into the Learning Portfolio. The AAOS has forged special partnerships with these 14 organizations to bring this service to members.

CME credits awarded by other educators who are not listed above must be manually entered into the AAOS Learning Portfolio and do not automatically get transferred to the ABOS. Even so, documentation of non-AAOS credits can be uploaded electronically to the ABOS website to avoid having to mail paper documentation to the ABOS office.

Q. What’s the point of manually entering credits that are not currently accredited by the AAOS into the AAOS Learning Portfolio?

A. Even if some CME credits must be manually entered into the AAOS Learning Portfolio and later manually entered into the ABOS MOC Dashboard, entering the credits into the Learning Portfolio is still worthwhile. Doing so enables you to keep track of all your earned CME credits in one centralized area. CME credits that are manually entered are “counted” in the Learning Portfolio as earned credits, giving you a relatively “real-time” picture of how many CME credits you have earned and how many more you still need to earn to comply with the MOC process.

Have questions?
If you have questions about the Learning Portfolio, contact the Academy’s member services department at
member@aaos.org or call 847-384-4259, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., CDT.

Diplomates with questions about the MOC dashboard or anything else related to MOC, including deadlines and requirements, should call the ABOS at 919-929-7103 or contact Brenda Kulp, ABOS MOC Specialist, at bkulp@abos.org