About the CE

Pediatric Surgery Certifying Exam

  • The Pediatric Surgery Certifying Examination is the last step toward board certification in pediatric surgery. It is an oral exam consisting of 5 consecutive 30-minute sessions, each conducted by a team of 2 examiners. Each of the five sessions focuses on a different key area of pediatric surgery:
  • Oncology
  • Trauma and critical care
  • GI, hepatobiliary, abdomen
  • Head and neck, endocrine, GU
  • Thoracic, airway, chest wall
  • Its purpose is to evaluate a candidate's clinical skills in organizing the diagnostic evaluation of common problems in pediatric surgery and determining appropriate therapy. Emphasis is placed on candidates' ability to use their knowledge and training to safely, effectively and promptly manage a broad range of clinical problems.
  • The exam is designed to measure a candidate's surgical judgment, clinical reasoning skills and problem-solving ability. Technical details of operations may also be evaluated, as well as issues related to a candidate's ethical behavior and humanistic qualities. The exam's contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or disclosed in any manner.

Exam Registration

  • Upon passing the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Exam, candidates are admissible to the Pediatric Surgery Certifying Exam and will be asked to register online for the next exam. It is held annually in the spring in Philadelphia (see Dates & Fees).
  • Active duty military personnel who may encounter difficulty taking the exam due to their service should contact the ABS as soon as possible.

The Examiners

  • The exam is conducted by members of the Pediatric Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery and by other nationally recognized experts in pediatric surgery. All examiners are in active practice, currently certified in pediatric surgery, and participating in the ABS Continuous Certification Program. The ABS makes every effort to avoid any conflicts of interest between candidates and their examiners.

Exam Opportunities

  • Candidates are offered 5 opportunities within a 5-year period to pass the Pediatric Surgery Certifying Exam. If a candidate decides not to take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity as the five-year limit is absolute. Exceptions will only be made for active duty military service outside the United States. The five-year period begins immediately upon successful completion of the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Exam.
  • Candidates who have exhausted their five-year admissibility period should contact the exam coordinator regarding the readmissibility requirements in effect at that time.

Exam Results & Continuous Certification

  • Results are posted within 7 business days after the last day of the exam. Successful examinees will be deemed certified in pediatric surgery and will receive their official certificate within 6 months. They must thereafter participate in the ABS Continuous Certification Program to maintain their certificate. The ABS will waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment toward Continuous Certification for this certification; the waiver will appear automatically in your CME Repository.
  • Surgeons who achieve ABS certification may also apply to the AMA to receive 60 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Please see the AMA website and the direct CME application (pdf) for details.
  • Unsuccessful examinees with remaining opportunities will be contacted prior to the next exam; a new application is not necessary.

For specific inquiries, please send an email to the exam coordinator.