Frequently Asked Questions About FAAOS Membership

What is FAAOS?
FAAOS stands for “Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.”

Who can use this designation?
This designation can only be used by Academy members who are qualified. This includes Active Fellow and Emeritus Fellow members who have been certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (AOBOS) or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).

*If you are an Active Fellow (MD or DO) or Emeritus Fellow member there is no additional cost, or steps you need to take, to use the FAAOS designation - it's yours, you've earned it!  

Active Fellow Member Requirements:

  • Certification by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (AOBOS) or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Maintenance of a full, unrestricted, and unlimited license to practice medicine or full-time service in the federal government
  • Compliance with the AAOS Standards of Professionalism
  • Complete Active Fellow Member Application
  • Membership Committee and AAOS Board of Director Approval of Application

Members who reside in Canada that apply for Active Fellow status, rather than international membership, and are certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada may also use the FAAOS designation. 

Who is not qualified to use the FAAOS designation? 
Non-members, members who have not been approved for full active fellowship, suspended fellows.

Why does the FAAOS designation matter?
The FAAOS designation distinguishes orthopaedic surgeons from other healthcare specialists as the leaders of the musculoskeletal health team with the level of skills, training, experience and professionalism consistent with the high standards established by the AAOS. The FAAOS designation represents a commitment to quality, professional development, and continuous education. This sets orthopaedic surgeons apart from other providers of the bone and joint health team.

Is the FAAOS designation a member benefit?
Yes - it's FREE. Using the designation helps differentiate Active Fellows from non-orthopaedic surgeons and colleagues who aren't qualified to use the designation.

  • Brings recognition to the profession as a whole
  • Signifies standing in the Academy
  • Reinforces a sense of pride in accomplishments

What is the correct order to display the FAAOS designation? 
A member should display FAAOS after their name, i.e. John Doe, MD, FAAOS. If members have multiple credentials and designations, the order should be as follows:

  • Highest earned degree
  • Licensure credentials
  • State designations or requirements
  • National certification
  • Awards and honors (Always lead with FAAOS)
  • Other certifications

Members who qualify will see the FAAOS designation automatically after their name when they access various Academy channels and information including their AAOS member profile.

Can a member remove the designation from AAOS communication channels?
The FAAOS designation will always appear after a qualified member's name in AAOS-controlled communication channels. A qualified member may only remove the designation within these channels by calling the AAOS Service Center and requesting removal.

What are some ways members can use the FAAOS designation?
We encourage FAAOS designees to include the designation wherever appropriate in their day-to-day communications with peers, colleagues and patients. This might include but is not limited to:

  • Practice and hospital websites
  • Practice and hospital marketing collateral, such as posters, brochures, name tags, etc.
  • Presentations
  • Press releases
  • Email signatures and business cards
  • Other physician directories 
  • Social media presence and profiles
  • Wear your FAAOS lapel pin with pride! 

Who do I contact if I still have questions about the FAAOS designation?
AAOS Customer Service
(847) 823-7186