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Applying for the CE

How to Apply - SCC CE

  • The online application process for the Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam is posted each year by mid-May. A notice will be posted on the homepage at that time.
  • Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process as early as possible. If you do not complete the application process, any materials or fees submitted cannot be carried over to another year.
  • Exam accommodations: Please notify the ABS office at the time of application to the QE if you will need testing accommodations at the center due to learning disabilities by formerly submitting your request per our Examination of Persons with Disabilities policy.
  • In addition, if you are a nursing mother, or if you have a medical condition such as injury or diabetes, etc., please inform the ABS at the time of application if you will need accommodations, such as additional break time during the exam, by submitting your request per our Examination Accommodations policy. Requests should be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the applicant’s exam date. Pearson VUE has specific designated centers that are able to offer such accommodations, and these locations fill up on a first come, first served basis. ABS will work with Pearson VUE to make appropriate arrangements.
Application Access: Applicants still in residency, or from another ABMS surgical board, or who have completed an ACGME-accredited anesthesiology critical care (ACC) program, must contact the exam coordinator for access to the online application process. The following information must be provided in the request:
  • In residency: The names and completion years of both the general surgery and surgical critical care programs.
  • Another ABMS surgical board or ABEM: The name of surgical critical care program and a copy of your primary certificate.
  • ACC fellow: Written confirmation of training and training completion date by your ACC fellowship program director or program administrator.

Items Required

  • Once the online application process is available, applicants are required submit the following items. Diplomates must be meeting the requirements of the ABS Continuous Certification Program and hold a current full and unrestricted medical license to apply. If you are applying for this exam through the ABEM Grandparent Pathway, please see the next section below.
1) Application Form

This form covers information regarding your undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate medical education.

2) Report of Critical Care Experience
  • If you are completing an ACGME-accredited SCC fellowship: Upload a PDF of your ACGME Surgical Critical Care Defined Category and Minimum report (preferred). ABS will also accept your ACGME Critical Care Patient Report if the report by category is not available (please allow for additional processing time). These are the ONLY reports that will be accepted. Other types of documentation, even if they contain similar information, will be rejected upon review.

    The report must include a minimum of 200 total critical care patients managed and must meet the required minimums for each category. Please see the ACGME Case Minimum Requirements: Surgical Critical Care (pdf) for details on each category and number of cases required. Patients may fit into multiple categories and may be counted more than once. Patients who die and meet these criteria should be included; there is no limit on number of deaths reported.

  • All other applicants: Complete and submit the ABS report of critical care experience via the ABS website. All case number requirements must be met.

    For each patient, you will provide the patient ID and select the applicable categories:

    • Categories: Advanced Mechanical Ventilation; Airway Management – Intubation; Airway Management – Bronchoscopy; Shock Management; Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy; Dysrhythmia Management; Neurologic Management; Hepatic Failure Management; Noninvasive Cardiac Output Monitoring; Nutrition; Gastrointestinal Disorders; Infection; Miscellaneous Procedures*; Injury; Endocrine Disorders; Organ Failure; End-of-Life Care

      * Miscellaneous Procedures includes central venous catheter placement, tube thoracostomy, thoracentesis, paracentesis, diagnostic peritoneal lavage, fasciotomy, escharotomy and proficiency in management of procedural complications.
3) Signature Form - signed electronically by you
  • Review, sign and date the attestation online. Approval of your application is contingent upon approval from your program director, who will be contacted separately.
  • Note: To avoid the late fee, the signature form must be submitted by the application deadline.
    Applicants Still in Residency: You must also provide a letter from your residency program director attesting that you have satisfactorily completed three progressive years of general surgery or integrated vascular surgery residency and that you have a guaranteed categorical residency position available to you upon completion of SCC training. Please email this letter from your residency program director to the exam coordinator.
4) Nonrefundable Application Fee - paid by credit card via the ABS website
  • Submit your credit card payment (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) where indicated; a completed application form must be submitted first. A separate exam fee will also be required once your application is approved.
  • Note: The total application fee due will be based on when your signature form arrives at the ABS office, not the date you submit the application form or fee.

Items Required - ABEM Grandparent Pathway

Applicants who are applying for the Surgical Critical Care CE through the ABEM Grandparent Pathway must contact the exam coordinator for access to the online application process. When contacting the exam coordinator to initiate this process, you must also provide the following two items:

  1. Proof of certification by the American Board of Emergency Medicine
    A scanned copy of your current, valid ABEM certificate will be accepted as proof of your certification.
  2. Proof of completion of one year of ACGME-accredited SCC training
    A certificate of completion from your fellowship program and/or a signed letter from the program director of the fellowship will fulfill this requirement.

After these materials have been verified and you have been granted access to the application, you will be required to submit:

  1. Application Form - submitted via the ABS website
    You will be asked to provide evidence of your current full and unrestricted medical license when completing this form.
  2. A case log of 50 defined SCC cases over a one-year period, signed by the Director of Surgical Critical Care at your hospital or institution

    The case log must include a minimum of 50 defined SCC cases over a one-year period showing active practice in critical care. The case log must be signed by the Director of Surgical Critical Care at your hospital or institution, attesting to your SCC experience, and should include procedures from the following categories:

    Categories: Advanced Mechanical Ventilation; Airway Management – Intubation; Airway Management – Bronchoscopy; Shock Management; Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy; Dysrhythmia Management; Neurologic Management; Hepatic Failure Management; Noninvasive Cardiac Output Monitoring; Nutrition; Gastrointestinal Disorders; Infection; Miscellaneous Procedures*; Injury; Endocrine Disorders; Organ Failure; End-of-Life Care
    * Miscellaneous Procedures includes central venous catheter placement, tube thoracostomy, thoracentesis, paracentesis, diagnostic peritoneal lavage, fasciotomy, escharotomy and proficiency in management of procedural complications.

  3. Signature Form - signed electronically by you
    Review, sign and date the attestation online. Approval of your application is contingent upon approval from your program director, who will be contacted separately.
  4. Note: To avoid the late fee, the signature form must be submitted by the application deadline.
  5. Nonrefundable Application Fee - paid by credit card via the ABS website

    Submit your credit card payment (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) where indicated; a completed application form must be submitted first. A separate exam fee will also be required once your application is approved.

    Note: The total application fee due will be based on when your signature form arrives at the ABS office, not the date you submit the application form or fee.

2020 Application Deadlines & Fees
  • By July 15 (initial deadline) - $500
  • By Aug. 31 (late deadline) - $700
  • No applications will be accepted after Aug. 31. Once your application is approved, a separate exam fee of $1500 will also be required.
  • To avoid the late fee, these 4 items must be submitted online by end of business day on the application deadline: (1) application form; (2) report of critical care experience; (3) signature form; and (4) application fee.
  • However, your application cannot be approved until ALL required items are present. Please submit your application materials promptly so you may schedule the exam at a testing center of your choosing. The longer you wait to complete the application process, the more likely you will have to travel outside your area to take the exam.

Application Approval

Once all materials are received, your application will be reviewed by ABS staff. You will be notified via email when your application has been approved. Once approved, you will be sent information on how to register for this year's exam and pay the separate exam fee. All applicants are responsible for their own applications and will not be notified if items are missing or incorrect. Please check the status of your application in the ABS portal periodically, and please keep your contact information current.

If you have questions, please refer to our FAQs section. For questions not covered in the FAQs, send an email to the exam coordinator.


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