How to Register - General Surgery Recertification Exam

  • The online registration process for the 2018 General Surgery Recertification Exam will open as of Aug. 1; however the operative report and reference forms will be available for completion later this spring in the login area on the My Continuous Certification status page.
  • 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 Continuous Certification 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 will be able to provide explanation when completing the online forms.
  • Exam accommodations: Please notify the ABS office at the time of application to the QE if you will need testing accommodations at the center due to learning disabilities by formerly submitting your request per our Examination of Persons with Disabilities policy.

    In addition, if you have a medical condition such as injury or diabetes, etc., or if you are a nursing mother, please inform the ABS at the time of application if you will need accommodations, such as additional break time during the exam. The ABS will work with Pearson VUE to make appropriate arrangements. Please note that since Pearson has a limited number of centers that can offer such accommodations, we recommend submitting your completed application as early as possible. This will better help the ABS to work with Pearson VUE to make appropriate arrangements.

Items Required

  • If not recently updated, you will be asked to review and update your personal and practice information. You must hold a current full and unrestricted medical license. If your license will expire before the exam, you will need to provide updated information when available.
  • You must then submit the following items:
1) Operative Experience Report - submitted via the ABS website
  • The ABS requires submission of an operative experience report within the past 10 years in any ABS specialty. The status page will indicate if you are due to submit this report.
  • This report will ask for the number of primary procedures performed in each category over the past calendar year (1/17-12/17) or recent 12-month period (e.g., 5/17-5/18) 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. If you do not have cases to report, go to the last section of this form to provide an explanation.
  • ACS Case Log Option (SSR): The link and 13-digit code for the transfer from the SSR are posted under "Operative Experience Report" once you log into the exam registration process. Only the number of cases performed in each category is transmitted. The transfer occurs immediately.
2) Registration Fee - paid by credit card via the ABS website
  • Submit your credit card payment (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) where indicated. See below or our Dates & Fees page for more details.
3) Two Reference Forms - to be completed by chair of surgery and chair of credentials
  • The ABS requires submission of one set of reference forms every five years. The status page will indicate if you are due to submit these.
  • If these forms are required, enter information in this area for the two physicians who will complete your reference forms. In most cases, one should be completed by the chair of surgery and the other by the chair of credentials at the hospital where you perform most of your work. If necessary, another physician of comparable rank may complete the form. The two forms cannot be filled out by the same person, or by a relative or someone with whom you have a close personal relationship.
  • Once you complete this area, the reference forms will automatically be sent via email to these individuals through the ABS website. The two individuals you have designated will complete and submit the reference forms online. The ABS reference forms must be used; we cannot accept letters in their place.
  • You will be notified by email when each form is submitted to the ABS. The form's status will also appear above the links in this section. If necessary, you may update the contact information you previously entered and resend the email; this will deactivate the previous email sent.
4) Attestation - submitted via the ABS website
  • This is a brief legal form that is the final step in the registration process. The form will not be available until you have completed the steps above. If your reference forms are still pending (i.e., have not yet been submitted to ABS), this form will also be marked "Pending" when submitted.

Registration Deadlines and Fees

  • To meet a registration deadline, the four items above must be received by the deadline date. No hardcopy paper submissions are required.
  • Registration for the 2018 exam will be available from Aug. 1 to Oct. 15. The registration fee will be $1600 for the beginning of registration window; additional fees (TBD) will apply later in the registration window due to expedited processing.

Registration Approval

  • You will be notified by email when your registration has been approved; you can also check the status on your exam registration page.
  • Once approved, an exam admission authorization letter will be posted on your exam registration page within 24-48 hours. The letter will contain instructions on reserving a place at a computer-testing center. You must have this letter to reserve a testing center spot.
  • If there are any problems with your registration, you will be notified by email by ABS staff. Please keep your contact information current - update personal information.

Please also refer to our FAQs area. Questions may be sent via email to the exam coordinator.