Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam
It is expected that trainees will meet all of the requirements listed. To be eligible for this exam, applicants must:
Examination While in Residency
- Applicants who complete an ACGME-accredited surgical critical care or anesthesiology critical care (ACC) fellowship after completing 3 progressive years of ACGME-accredited residency may apply for SCC certification and take the exam while still in residency.
A full and unrestricted medical license is not required at the time of application.
- The SCC certificate will not be awarded, however, until primary certification is achieved. Applicants must have a guaranteed categorical residency position in an ACGME-accredited residency program available to them upon completion of SCC or ACC training.
Examination While in Process of Obtaining Primary Certification
- Applicants who have completed residency training in an ACGME-accredited program and are taking either the general surgery written exam (GSQE), the general surgery oral exam (GSCE), the vascular surgery written exam (VSQE) or the vascular surgery oral exam (VSCE) may apply for and take the SCCCE exam while in the process of obtaining primary certification.
- The SCC certificate will not be awarded until primary certification is achieved.
- Individuals who meet ABS requirements may apply for the exam through the online application process, which is posted in early spring (see How to Apply). After your application is approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to register for this year's exam.
- Once you complete registration and submit the examination fee, it will take up to five business days to process. Following processing, an Exam Admission Card/Authorization Letter with instructions on how to schedule your exam center directly with Pearson VUE will then be posted on your Exam Records and Results page.
- Active duty military personnel who may encounter difficulty taking the exam due to their service should contact the ABS as soon as possible. Please see How to Apply for information about other exam accommodations.
- After registering for the exam, an Exam Admission/Authorization Letter will be posted to the applicant’s ABS portal within 2-5 business days. The Exam Admission/Authorization letter will not be mailed or emailed. Once posted, applicants will need to log on to their portal to access the Exam Admission/Authorization letter in order to schedule a test center with Pearson VUE immediately.
- The ABS provides Pearson VUE with the applicant’s mailing address that is on file at the time of registration. If this information is not updated, an incorrect mailing address will be transmitted to Pearson VUE. To facilitate the best exam center scheduling experience with Pearson VUE, applicants should ensure that the ABS has a current mailing address at the time of registration.
- If requesting accommodations, applicants must have submitted the appropriate forms and documentation and have obtained ABS approval prior to registering for the examination. Registering and scheduling an exam center without prior ABS approval will result in an examination appointment without accommodations.
- Be advised that testing centers have limited capacity and may fill up well before the exam date, particularly in urban areas. Applicants should contact Pearson VUE as soon as the admission letter is posted to the ABS portal to reserve space at a local testing center. If applicants delay, they will likely have to travel outside of the local geographical area in order to schedule the exam.
- Individuals who complete a surgical critical care fellowship during the 2019-2020 academic year or thereafter will have 7 years following training to achieve certification in surgical critical care.
- Once an application is approved, the applicant will have a maximum of 5 opportunities within 5 consecutive years to take and pass the exam. If you decide not to take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity as the five-year limit is absolute.
- During the five-year period, examinees who postponed or were unsuccessful will be able to register for the next exam without completing a new application; the original application will suffice.
- Individuals who exhaust their seven-year admissibility period should contact the ABS regarding the readmissibility requirements in effect at that time.
- If successful on the exam, and if already certified in general surgery or another specialty as noted above, you will be deemed certified in surgical critical care and receive your official certificate within 6 months. You must participate in the ABS Continuous Certification Program to maintain your certificate. The ABS will waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment toward Continuous Certification for this certification; the waiver will appear automatically in your CME Repository.
- Surgeons who achieve ABS certification may also apply to the AMA to receive 60 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Please see the AMA website and the direct CME application (pdf) for details.
For specific inquiries, please send an email to the exam coordinator.