Becoming certified in vascular surgery

Vascular Surgery

Exams Offered

Use the links below to learn more about the following vascular surgery examinations:

Successful completion of the Vascular Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Exams is required for board certification in vascular surgery. The Qualifying Exam is an eight-hour, multiple-choice examination held once a year on a single day at computer-testing centers across the U.S. The Certifying Examination is an oral exam consisting of three consecutive 30-minute sessions. It is held once per year in a major U.S. city.

As of October 2014, prior successful completion of the Surgical Principles Exam or General Surgery Qualifying Exam is no longer required to enter the vascular surgery certification process.
  • The VSITE is a multiple-choice examination taken by surgeons while in residency; it is not required as part of the board certification process.

Seven-Year Limit for Certification

  • Surgeons who complete residency in the 2012-2013 academic year or thereafter will have no more than 7 academic years to achieve certification in vascular surgery. The seven-year period starts immediately upon completion of residency. Please note that if you delay in applying for certification, you will lose exam opportunities.
  • Within the seven-year period, applicants will receive no more than 4 opportunities within 4 years to pass the QE, and up to 3 opportunities within 3 years to pass the CE. Only one exam opportunity will be offered per year. Failure to take an exam when offered will result in a missed opportunity. The three CE opportunities begin immediately upon successful completion of the QE.
  • If you are unable to become certified within the seven-year period, you must pursue a readmissibility pathway to re-enter the certification process.
  • Please see our exam admissibility policy for further details.
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