Details and what to expect
The Surgical Critical Care Continuous Certification Assessment focuses on the latest and most important developments in practice to assist diplomates in staying up to date. Diplomates will be presented with 40 questions that address important topics in surgical critical care. Topic areas will evolve based on changes in the field of surgical critical care in addition to feedback from diplomates and surgical societies. The surgical critical care assessment is not modular.
New reference lists are posted on the ABS website each year prior to the start of the assessment window. See our Assessment Reference Archive to find a catalog of all reference lists used in previous years.
While taking the assessment, question rationales and reference citations are displayed every time an answer is submitted. Completing the assessment and reading the rationales is an educational experience which may not require any preparation.
You will have up to two weeks to complete the assessment once you begin, with the opportunity to save your progress and continue at a later time during this two-week period.
If you are taking more than one assessment, you will have the ability to begin each assessment at a different time.
Please note: Your personal two-week time limit will start the moment you click the “Begin” button on the ABS portal – do not click it until you are absolutely sure that you are ready to begin your assessment.
The ABS will provide a list of topics to allow you to hone in on the areas that you should be aware of for the assessment. References will be provided for transparency about the sources that support the development of the assessment. The references will reflect that the assessment primarily focuses on important evidence-based recent updates to surgical critical care practice. Diplomates are neither required nor expected to read all of these references before or during the completion of the assessment.
The ABS will provide two different versions of the reference list. One version will highlight a single key reference for each question and the other will list all references used, including those which explain why the wrong answers are incorrect. References that are available open-source will be indicated. Diplomates may choose to refer to these lists either before or during the assessment.
Please keep the following in mind during the assessment: