Vascular Surgery Certifying Exam
- Upon passing the Vascular Surgery Qualifying Exam, candidates are admissible to
the Vascular Surgery Certifying Exam and will be asked to register online for the next exam. It is held annually in the spring in a major U.S. city (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.
- To register for the CE, a candidate must have obtained Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) certification. Candidates are not required to be currently certified; they must only provide documentation of past certification.
- The required exam for RPVI is offered two times per year, with accompanying application deadlines. Make sure to allow enough time for testing and possible retesting, as well as time for the results to be published, which can take approximately 60 days. Candidates will not be admitted to the CE without RPVI certification.
Medical License Requirement
- To register for the CE, a candidate must also hold a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S. or Canada. The license must be valid through the date of the examination. Temporary, limited, educational or institutional licenses will not be accepted, even if you are currently pursuing additional training.
- It may take several months to obtain a full and unrestricted state medical licenseplease plan ahead! Candidates will not be admitted to the CE without a full license.
- The exam is conducted by members of the Vascular Surgery Board of the American Board of
Surgery and by other nationally recognized experts in vascular surgery. All examiners are in active practice, currently certified in vascular
surgery, and participating in the ABS MOC Program. The ABS makes every effort to avoid any conflicts of
interest between candidates and their examiners.
Candidates who completed vascular surgery training after July 1, 2012:
- Candidates who completed vascular surgery training after July 1, 2012, will have no more than 7 academic years following this training to complete the
certification process. The seven-year period begins immediately upon completion of vascular surgery training.
- They will be granted up to 3 opportunities
within a 3-year period to pass the Vascular Surgery CE, immediately following successful completion of the Vascular Surgery QE. If an applicant decides not to take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity.
- The granting of 3 opportunities in 3 years is contingent on sufficient years being left in the
applicant's seven-year eligibility period. See the ABS' exam admissibility policy for further details.
Candidates who completed vascular surgery training prior to July 1, 2012:
- Candidates who completed vascular surgery training before July 1, 2012, will be granted up to 5 opportunities within a 5-year period to pass the Vascular Surgery CE. If a candidate decides not to take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity.
- All of the above limits are absolute; exceptions will only be made for active duty military service outside the United States.
- Individuals who exceed any of the above restrictions will lose their admissibility and must pursue a readmissibility pathway to re-enter the certification process.
Exam Results & Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
- Results are posted within 7-10 business days after the last day of the exam. Successful examinees will be deemed certified in vascular surgery and will receive their official certificate in 3 to 6 months. They must thereafter participate in the ABS MOC Program to maintain their certificate. The ABS will waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment toward MOC 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.
The Vascular Surgery CE follows a format similar to that of the General Surgery CE: See What to Expect and Candidate Video.
For specific inquiries, please send an email to the exam coordinator.