No more than 3 programs

Limit on Number of Residency Programs

  • The ABS instituted in 2007 a new limit on the number of programs by which an applicant for general surgery certification may complete residency training.
  • Effective with residents graduating in the 2007-2008 academic year or thereafter, the 5 years of progressive general surgery residency training (PGY 1-5) must be accomplished at no more than 3 residency programs for an individual's application for certification to be accepted.

How Programs are Counted

  • In applying this rule, the ABS considers only the 5 progressive clinical years that are to be counted as an applicant's full residency training. For example, if a resident completes PGY-1 at one institution and then repeats PGY-1 at another institution, only one of these years will be counted toward the applicant's required residency training and only one of these programs will be included in the three-program limit. The last 2 years of residency (PGY 4-5) must always be completed at the same institution.
  • If credit is granted by the ABS for prior training outside the U.S. or Canada, that credit will be counted as one institution.

Admissibility to Certification

  • When applying for certification, any individual who trained at more than one program must submit documentation of satisfactory completion for all years in prior programs from the appropriate program director.
  • Individuals who completed their 5 years of residency training at more than 3 programs will be required to repeat one or more of these years at a single institution to comply with the 3-program limit in order to be admissible to the certification process.

For questions regarding this policy, please contact the ABS coordinator.

Updated: February 2013

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