How to Register - General Surgery MOC Exam

New Process as of 2017
The ABS no longer requires a separate application process for this exam. As long as you are meeting MOC requirements and have a certificate that will expire in 3 years or less, you may register for the exam. However, there are still materials to be submitted as part of the registration process — see below for details. The new registration process will be posted by end of April.
  • The online registration process for the General Surgery MOC (Recertification) Exam is posted each year by late April. Diplomates are eligible to register starting 3 years before their certificate's expiration; this includes the final year of certificate validity. Diplomates must be meeting the requirements of the ABS MOC Program and have a current full and unrestricted medical license to register. Please note the online forms must be used—handwritten or other versions will not be accepted.

Special Situations

  • Clinically Inactive: Diplomates who no longer see patients may register per the Clinically Inactive Policy. Diplomates who no longer operate but still see patients may submit alternative material (see FAQs).
  • Exam accommodations: Accommodations for documented learning disabilities must be requested by the initial application deadline (view policy). Individuals who will need accommodations due to medical-related conditions (injury, breast feeding, etc.) should notify the ABS when applying.

Items Required

  • This new process is still in development and may be modified before it launches in spring 2017.
  • Once the online registration process is available, diplomates must submit the following items. Diplomates will also be expected to update their personal and practice information as needed.
1) Operative Experience Report - submitted via the ABS website
  • This report will ask for the numbers of all primary procedures performed during the past calendar year (1/15-12/15) or recent 12-month period (e.g., 5/15-5/16) at the institution where you perform most of your work. It is not necessary to list secondary procedures. No other information is requested. The ABS seeks a general profile of your current practice; there is no required minimum of cases.
  • ACS Case Log Option: Users of the ACS Surgeon Specific Registry (case log) may transfer cases directly to the ABS operative report. The link and 13-digit authorization code to perform this transfer are posted next to "2) Operative Experience Report" once you log into the online application process. Only the number of cases performed in each category is transmitted. The transfer will occur immediately.
2) Two Reference Forms - to be completed by chair of surgery and chair of credentials
  • The forms will be available as part of the registration process. They must be completed by the chair of surgery and chair of credentials at the institution where you perform most of your work. Only one set of reference forms is required. The ABS reference forms must be used; we cannot accept letters in their place.
  • If you hold one of these positions or if these positions are held by the same person, have another physician of comparable rank fill out the second form. The two forms cannot be filled out by the same individual.
3) Registration Fee - paid by credit card via the ABS website
  • Submit your credit card payment (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) where indicated. Note that this is now a combined fee, encompassing our prior application and examination fees. See next section for additional details.

Registration Deadlines

  • All materials above must be submitted for your registration to be approved.
2017 Registration Deadlines & Fees
  • By Aug. 1 - $1600
  • By Sept. 1 - $1700
  • By Oct. 3 - $1800
  • By Nov. 1 - $1900

Historically the ABS charged both an application fee and examination fee for its MOC (recertification) exams. As of this year, these have been combined into one fee.

Diplomates who were already in the MOC exam process prior to 2017 (i.e., had an approved application) will be charged a $1200 registration fee.

As noted above, this new process is still in development and further information will be posted as it becomes available. Questions may be sent via email to the exam coordinator.

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