New requirement in flexible endoscopy

Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum

    Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (pdf)

  • The ABS announced in 2014 a new requirement to ensure all ABS-certified general surgeons have completed a standard curriculum in the use of endoscopic techniques. This new requirement will apply to certification applicants who complete their residency training in the 2017-2018 academic year or thereafter.
  • During their general surgery residency, applicants will be required to have completed the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (pdf).

About the Curriculum

  • The Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum provides a stepwise instructional program for residents to acquire the essential knowledge and skills to perform flexible endoscopy. It contains five levels; for each level, there are a variety of suggested resources, including direct links to content on the SCORE Portal (www.surgicalcore.org).
  • The ABS is not mandating the use of any particular resource and encourages programs to take advantage of resources for endoscopic training already present at their institution. Purchase of a simulator is not necessary. See also the "Helpful Resources" listed farther below.

Resident Progress Tracking

Programs should track residents' progress by documenting when each level of the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum is completed. The ABS will collect this information each year as part of its resident roster update. In addition, when signing an individual's application for certification, the program director will be asked to attest that the curriculum has been completed.

It is expected that:

  • Level I will be completed in PGY-1 or PGY-2
  • Level II will be completed in PGY-1 or PGY-2
  • Level III will be completed in PGY-2 or PGY-3
  • Level IV will be completed in PGY-3 or PGY-4
  • Level V will be completed by the end of PGY-4 or early PGY-5

FES Certification

  • Level V includes successful completion of the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery™ (FES) program offered by SAGES. Evidence of FES certification will be required when applying for ABS certification.
    It is highly encouraged that residents complete all other requirements in the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum before seeking FES certification.
  • The FES program includes didactic materials, a multiple-choice exam, and a hands-on skills test. The FES didactic materials are available without charge at www.fesdidactic.org. Preparation for the FES skills test can be achieved using resources already available at an institution; a simulator is not necessary.
  • Residents should allow sufficient time for FES testing and potential retesting. Testing appointments are available year-round and may be made up to 90 days in advance. See www.fesprogram.org for more details.

Helpful Resources

  • Surgical Endoscopy Article (Full Text) - demonstrates a low-cost, table-top model strategy for preparing residents for the technical component of the FES exam.
  • APDS Workshop (Video) - the Association of Program Directors in Surgery has created a workshop video on how programs can implement the curriculum at their institution.
  • SAGES Webinar (Video) - SAGES has posted a webinar about flexible endoscopy, the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum, and how to pass the FES exam.

For questions regarding the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum, please contact the ABS coordinator.

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