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ABS E-News

News from the American Board of Surgery

Winter 2014

  • Certificates and MOC: Transition to Calendar Year
  • New Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum Requirement
  • ABS Approved for 2014 PQRS MOC Incentive
  • Annual Newsletter Now Available
  • Resident Duty Hours Study
  • Other ABS News

Certificates and MOC: Transition to Calendar Year

To make the certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process more intuitive, the American Board of Surgery is transitioning its certificates from the academic year to the calendar year. To begin this transition, all current ABS certificates have been extended six months to December 31. 

All current ABS certificates now expire on December 31 of the year of expiration, rather than July 1. Diplomates may print verification of this new expiration date from the ABS website. 

The ABS MOC Program will also be moving to the calendar year in the weeks ahead. More information will be communicated to diplomates once that transition is in place.

Diplomates who are eligible to take an MOC (formerly Recertification) Exam in 2014 will be contacted later this spring once the online application process is posted.

New Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum Requirement

The ABS has introduced the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (pdf), a new requirement for initial certification in general surgery.The curriculum provides a consistent instructional program for residents to acquire the essential knowledge and skills to perform flexible endoscopy. It was carefully developed in collaboration with SAGES, ASCRS, ASMBS and SSAT to address concerns regarding variability in the endoscopic training obtained by general surgery residents.

Endoscopy is one of the top five procedures performed by ABS-certified general surgeons. Certification applicants who graduate residency in the 2017-2018 academic year or thereafter will be required to have completed the curriculum. Announcement

ABS Approved for 2014 PQRS MOC Incentive

The ABS has been approved for the 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) MOC Incentive offered by CMS. This is the last year the incentive will be offered.

The incentive allows surgeons who participate in the ABS MOC Program and PQRS to receive an additional 0.5% on their Medicare Part B allowed charges. Diplomates not yet enrolled in MOC will need to pass an MOC Exam in 2014 to be eligible for the incentive. Further details about PQRS are available at www.cms.gov/pqrs.

More information about the PQRS MOC Incentive will be sent to diplomates later this spring, once the submission process is available. Stay tuned!

ABS NewsletterAnnual Newsletter Now Available

The latest issue of ABS News (pdf), the ABS newsletter, was mailed to diplomates and training programs in late 2013. Be sure to take a look at these articles and more: 

Moving Forward with ABS MOC - An overview of what diplomates need to do to comply with MOC

Report from the Chair - Dr. Joseph Cofer, ABS chair, discusses the top priorities of the ABS in the months ahead

ABS Goes International - The ABS is assisting several countries in creating their own board certification process

Resident Duty Hours Study

The American Board of Surgery, American College of Surgeons (ACS), and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education are jointly sponsoring an innovative new study on surgical resident duty hours and their effect on patient care. Called the FIRST trial, the study's objective is to determine whether more flexible workhour requirements are associated with a difference in postoperative outcomes compared to current workhour requirements. 

Hospitals participating in the study will be randomized to flexible vs. current requirements; hospitals must also be participating in the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Beyond clinical outcomes, residents' perceptions of their wellbeing, patient safety, continuity of care, and adequacy of training will also be assessed. First Trial Study Website

Other ABS News

  • The ABS has a new mission statement: "The American Board of Surgery serves the public and the specialty of surgery by providing leadership in surgical education and practice, by promoting excellence through rigorous evaluation and examination, and by promoting the highest standards for professionalism, lifelong learning, and the continuous certification of surgeons in practice."
  • MOC Part 2 and Part 4 program lists updated: The ABS maintains a list of suggested programs for Part 2 and Part 4 of the ABS MOC Program. These have recently been updated to reflect the best available options.
  • RCPSC training for SCC and CGSO now accepted: The ABS will now accept training accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada toward certification in surgical critical care and complex general surgical oncology.

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The American Board of Surgery - 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Ste. 860 - Philadelphia, PA 19103-1847

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