CME Requirements for Recertification
- Surgeons applying for a recertification exam must have completed 60 hours of Category I continuing medical education (CME) relevant to your practice during the last two calendar years or recent 24-month period.
Medscape Not Accepted: The ABS will not accept Medscape CME completed after July 1, 2013, as it does not meet ABS standards for meaningful learning and self-assessment relevant to surgery. For Medscape CME completed prior to July 1, no more than 12 hours of CME per day will be accepted.
Category I CME
- Category I activities are formal educational activities accredited by the AMA or ACCME. They have specific educational objectives and present content appropriate in depth and scope for the intended physician audience. Such activities may include seminars, skills courses, grand rounds and departmental scientific meetings. The Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program (SESAP), for example, counts as 70 hours of Category I CME. See our Links page for other CME resources.
- The 60 hours of Category I activities must be supported by documentation sent to the ABS office, i.e., photocopies of certificates from the activity sponsor clearly stating it is Category I and accredited by the AMA or ACCME. Please note the Physician's Recognition Award itself is not considered acceptable documentation.
- Diplomates who are members of the ACS or SAGES may transfer CME data directly to the ABS. Documentation must then only be submitted for any non-verified CME.
- Diplomates who achieved certification or recertification in another ABS specialty in the past two years or recent 24-month period may waive the 60 hours of Category I CME.
- You may also apply to the AMA to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit for certification or recertification by the ABS or another ABMS board. The AMA awards 60 credits for certification or recertification after September 1, 2010, and 25 credits prior to that date. See the AMA's website and direct CME application (pdf) for details; the number of credits awarded for an activity is determined solely by the AMA.
- Diplomates who obtain certification or recertification from another ABMS board may use this toward the ABS' CME requirements, but they must obtain the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits for it as documentation.
Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
- Diplomates are enrolled in the ABS MOC Program upon certification or recertification in any ABS specialty after July 1, 2005. Once enrolled, diplomates must comply with the CME requirements of the ABS MOC Program, and must be in compliance with MOC to apply for a recertification exam in the future. CME activities completed for the ABS MOC Program may also be used when applying for a recertification exam.
Updated: March 2013