ABS Announces Details of New Continuous Certification Program

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) has announced details about its new Continuous Certification Program, designed to provide greater value, flexibility, and convenience in maintaining ABS certification.

The ABS is transitioning to a new assessment process that will gradually replace the traditional secure recertification exam. Rather than one recertification exam every 10 years, ABS diplomates will use the new assessment process to continually demonstrate their surgical knowledge.

The new assessment is being introduced in 2018 for general surgery, with other ABS specialties launching over the next few years.  Following are a few of the new details about the general surgery assessment:

  • Consists of a 40-question, open-book assessment; 20 questions will cover core surgical principles; the other 20 will cover a practice-related area of the diplomates choice, including general surgery, abdomen, alimentary tract, and breast
  • Can be taken from personal computer at a time within the given assessment window
  • Provides immediate feedback, with two opportunities to answer a question correctly
  • Should be taken and passed every two years

All ABS certificates will remain valid until their expiration date. Diplomates will not need to begin taking the general surgery assessment until their certificate is due to expire. The new general surgery assessment will be available this year for interested surgeons.

Registration for the new general surgery assessment will open August 1. The assessment will be available this fall, September 7 to November 5.

This new paradigm is intended to more accurately reflect the rapid changes in surgical knowledge and practice and better promote high-quality patient care.

“It was important to all the ABS directors and staff that this new program reflect the way our diplomates practice today, and to support them by providing a high-value assessment process that focuses on essential developments in surgical practice,” said Mary E. Klingensmith, MD, FACS, ABS chair. “We welcome diplomates’ input as this new program continues to evolve.”

Read more about Continuous Certification Program on the ABS website.

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