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FAQs - Recertification for Hand Surgery and Hospice and Palliative Medicine

The ABS no longer requires a separate application process. As long as you are meeting Continuous Certification requirements and have a certificate that will expire in 3 years or less, you may register to take a traditional recertification exam by submitting a 12-month operative log, reference forms, and a registration fee. It is a completely online process — no hardcopy paper submissions are required.
The online registration process for Hand Surgery and Hospice and Palliative Medicinetraditional recertification exams will be posted under My Records by mid-May. Notifications sent to eligible diplomates. Once logged in, you will be able to access the forms needed to complete your exam registration.
On the ABS operative experience report, instead of entering cases, go to the final section of the form to provide an explanation. For the two reference forms, they may be completed by supervisors or peers who are familiar with your clinical activities and can provide knowledgeable attestation to your ethical and professional status.

Diplomates who are clinically inactive (meaning they no longer see patients in any capacity) should follow similar guidelines. See our Clinically Inactive policy for more details.
You may use whichever time period works best for you — either a full calendar year or one year back from when you are applying.
The ABS operative experience report must be submitted online via our website. The report asks only for the number of primary procedures performed in each category during the past calendar year or recent 12-month period at the institution where you perform most of your work. No other information is collected. The ABS seeks a general profile of your practice; there is no required minimum of cases. Diplomates may also transfer case numbers from the ACS Surgeon Specific Registry to the report.
The authorization code is posted under "Operative Experience Report" when you log into the online registration process, available under My Records. At the current time, you must be eligible to take a recertification exam to access this feature.
You will receive an email from the ACS when a transfer has been completed. Please check your email for this message. Cases are transferred immediately; you will see them listed in your operative experience report. If you are having difficulties, please contact our IT department for assistance.
The form(s) should be filled out by a physician of a comparable position at your institution, such as the medical director or chief of staff. The two forms may not be filled out by the same person, or by someone who is a close friend or relative.

Most ongoing program requirements for Continuous Certification cover all certifications that a diplomate holds. For example, diplomates do not need to submit additional reference forms for additional specialties, or complete additional CME. However, the assessment or recertification exam must be completed for each certificate that a diplomate maintains. An annual fee will apply to anyone taking a Continuous Certification Assessment, and a registration fee must be paid for a traditional recertification exam (at this time, traditional recertification exams are only offered for Hand Surgery and Hospice and Palliative Medicine). The CME, practice improvement and operative log requirements should be completed in whichever areas best reflect the diplomate’s practice.

Although there are no additional program requirements for maintaining multiple certificates, all program requirements must be up to date whenever registering for an assessment, so it is important to make sure that no previously fulfilled requirements have become outdated.

The ABS itself does not offer CME credits; however we will waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment toward the ABS Continuous Certification Program for passing a traditional recertification exam by the ABS or another ABMS board. For the ABS, a waiver will appear automatically in your CME Repository. For another ABMS board, you will need to enter those credits into your CME Repository and provide documentation if requested.

In addition, surgeons who achieve ABS recertification may 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.
We do not endorse or critically evaluate any review courses.
 

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