Requirements for PGY-4 applicants

Taking QE After PGY-4

  • As of 2016, the ABS will permit eligible PGY-4 residents to apply for and take the General Surgery Qualifying Exam (QE) following their PGY-4 year.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, the PGY-4 resident must meet all ABS training and application requirements at the time of application to the QE.

For the 2017 QE, these will include:

  • 750 total operative cases, including 150 chief year cases
  • 25 cases in surgical critical care, with one in each of the 7 categories in the operative log
  • 25 teaching assistant cases
  • 6 operative and 6 clinical performance assessments
  • Current or past certification in ACLS, ATLS and FLS

In addition:

  • Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum: PGY-4 applicants to the 2017 QE will be required to complete the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum, including FES certification, by end of residency.
  • Other Policies: PGY-4 applicants must also be in compliance with other ABS policies, including the requirement for 48 weeks of full-time clinical activity in each residency year (see also Leave Policy).
  • Case Numbers: PGY-4 applicants to the 2017 QE will not be required to meet the increased case numbers taking effect in 2017-2018.
  • Please refer to our training requirements area for more details.
    Application Access: Program directors must request access to the online application process for any eligible PGY-4 residents by contacting the exam coordinator.

Additional Information After PGY-5

  • Upon completion of residency, PGY-4 applicants will be required to submit additional information regarding their PGY-5 year, including rotations, non-clinical time and operative cases. The program director will be required to attest to this information and to the satisfactory completion of the entire residency experience. If the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum was not completed by the time of application to the QE, then evidence of FES certification will also be required.
  • Exam Opportunities and Status

  • Taking the exam after PGY-4 will count toward the four opportunities in four years that are granted to successfully complete the QE. However, the overall seven-year limit to achieve certification will not go into effect until completion of residency.
  • Individuals who pass the QE after their PGY-4 year will not have any official status with the ABS until their residency training has been satisfactorily completed according to ABS requirements. They also will not be eligible to take the General Surgery Certifying Exam (CE) until that time.
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