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Exam limits for certification

Exam Admissibility Policy - Pediatric Surgery

  • This ABS policy applies to individuals who complete their pediatric surgery training after July 1, 2019. Individuals who completed their training prior to this date will continue under the ABS' previous policies.

Qualifying Exam

  • Individuals will have no more than 7 academic years (July 1-June 30) following completion of pediatric surgery training to achieve certification—i.e., pass both the written Qualifying Examination (QE) and oral Certifying Examination (CE).
  • The 7-year period starts immediately upon completion of training, not when an individual's application is approved. If individuals delay in applying for certification, they will lose opportunities to take and pass the QE, the first exam in the certification process.
  • Following training, applicants will have a maximum of 4 opportunities within 4 consecutive years to pass the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Examination. If an applicant does not take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity as the four-year limit is absolute.
  • During the four-year period, examinees who postponed or were unsuccessful will be able to register for the next exam without completing a new application; the original application will suffice. Active duty military personnel who may encounter difficulty taking the exam due to their service should contact the ABS as soon as possible.
  • Candidates who successfully complete the QE in fewer than four opportunities may not apply unused opportunities toward the CE.
  • Applicants who have exhausted their four-year admissibility period should contact the exam coordinator regarding the readmissibility requirements in effect at that time.

Certifying Exam

  • Candidates will have up to 3 opportunities in 3 consecutive years to pass the CE, immediately following successful completion of the QE. If a candidate does not take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity as the three-year limit is absolute.
  • The three-year period begins immediately upon successful completion of the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Exam. Exceptions will only be made for active duty military service outside the United States.
  • Candidates who have exhausted their three-year admissibility period should contact the exam coordinator regarding the readmissibility requirements in effect at that time.

Prior Policies for Pediatric Surgery:

  • Qualifying Exam: Individuals who completed a pediatric surgery fellowship prior to July 1, 2019 had a maximum of 5 opportunities within a 5-year period to pass the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Exam.
  • Certifying Exam: Candidates who completed a pediatric surgery fellowship prior to July 1, 2019 had a maximum of 5 opportunities within a 5-year period to pass the Pediatric Surgery Certifying Exam.

Updated: April 2020


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