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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
  • The purpose of the exam is to evaluate clinical skills in the evaluation of patients with pediatric surgery problems, and in 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 who completed training in the 2019-2020 academic year or thereafter are offered 3 opportunities within 3 consecutive years to pass the Pediatric Surgery Certifying Exam. If a candidate does not take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity as the three-year limit is absolute. Exceptions will only be made for active duty military service outside the United States. The three-year period begins immediately upon successful completion of the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Exam.
  • Candidates who have exhausted their three-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 2-3 weeks after the last day of the exam. Successful examinees will be deemed certified in pediatric surgery and will receive their official certificate once all results have been processed and validated, examinees have been informed, mailing addresses have been confirmed and all information has been provided to the printing company. 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.


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