It's Boards week here in the States. This is the week that nervous, over dressed, and anxious young orthopaedic surgeons fly into Chicago, navigate their way to the their hotel and then the next day are peppered with questions about their cases, their mistakes, and their practice patterns. And, when it's all said and done, some 90 or so minutes later, it's rather un-fulfilling - all the build-up and then "done".
Months later you receive your notification of passing or not. And then that's it ... until the re-certification process. :)
I have to say that in my humble opinion, I think the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery does an excellent job of reviewing applicants for board certification and examining them. The process, despite having a subjective component, is extremely well organized and has gone through rigorous psychometric testing.
Ultimately, there is a value to being board certified - because of their efforts, it actually means something.
Having said that, I wonder about the re-certification process ... I wonder about what should go into this. Should it simply review what you do in practice or should there be some assessment of modernization in your practice patterns? Should it be obvious that you are reading and keeping up on the literature? Should it be an examination or an in-person interview? One person recently suggested to me that maybe the examiners should come see them in their practice to assess their "certifiability". My response is that we are all "certifiable" to some degree.
I know we have some international members as part of this site and it would be interesting to hear what their certification process entails ...