CME and Self-Assessment Resources (Part 2)

» Please see also our announcement of July 7 regarding changes to the ABS MOC Program, as well as our Nov. 3 update.

  • MOC Part 2 requires the completion of 150 credits of Category 1 CME over a five-year MOC cycle. The CME must be relevant to your practice, or if clinically inactive, to the broad discipline of surgery.
  • Category 1 CME activities are formal educational experiences accredited by the AMA, ACCME, RCPSC or EACCME. These may include seminars, conferences, grand rounds, webinars, podcasts, skills courses and departmental scientific meetings.
  • CME courses completed for state licensing requirements and on topics such as ethics, patient safety, surgeon leadership, etc., are accepted. Diplomates who hold multiple ABS certificates do not have to repeat Part 2 for each certificate.
  • The ABS expects that each CME credit corresponds to one hour of time spent on the activity. Therefore the ABS will generally not accept more than 12 credits of CME earned in a single day.


  • As of July 2012, at least 50 of the 150 Category 1 CME credits completed over a five-year MOC cycle must include self-assessment: a written or electronic question-and-answer exercise that assesses your understanding of the material presented in the CME program.
  • The activity must require a score of 75% or higher for the self-assessment to count for MOC. There is no required minimum number of questions and repeated attempts are allowed. Individual CME programs may require a higher score at their discretion; make sure your CME program requires at least a 75% score.
  • Many live CME events, such as grand rounds and conferences, require a post-test before credit is awarded. Category 1 CME from journals, textbooks, and audio, video or web-based programs also usually contains self-assessment. Audience response systems are also acceptable if they provide individual scores.
  • There is no ABS approval process for self-assessment activities. Hospitals, societies and other organizations may develop programs per the ABS criteria above. Programs that meet ABS requirements may state that they provide CME and self-assessment credit toward Part 2 of the ABS MOC Program.

Submitting Information

  • Diplomates are required to submit an online form every five years about how they are meeting MOC requirements, including Part 2. Diplomates who are members of the ACS or SAGES may directly transfer CME participation data.
  • No documentation is required at that time; however the ABS audits a percentage of the submitted forms each year to verify the information entered. If you are selected for audit, you will need to supply documentation for the CME listed in your MOC form.

Waiving of CME

  • The ABS will automatically waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment for achieving ABS certification or recertification during a five-year cycle. This includes the one that enrolled you in the ABS MOC Program, which counts toward your first cycle. A waiver for 60 credits will appear in your CME Repository.
  • If you achieved certification or recertification by another ABMS board during a five-year cycle, you may also waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment. The 60 credits must be entered by you into your CME Repository. If requested, you would need to provide a photocopy of your certificate or similar documentation.
  • Diplomates in a fellowship are also exempt from Part 2 during their time in training. The fellowship must be at least 12 months long and accredited by the ACGME or an organization with a formal accreditation process (e.g., SSO, ASTS, ACS, Fellowship Council, etc.). CME and self-assessments credits will be prorated based on the remaining years or months in the cycle.

AMA Credit for Certification

  • Diplomates can also apply to the AMA to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit for certification or recertification by the ABS or another ABMS board. The AMA will also grant credit for teaching at a live CME activity, being first author on a published article, and obtaining a medically-related advanced degree. See the AMA website and direct CME application (pdf). The number of credits granted is determined solely by the AMA.


  • Some available resources for CME with self-assessment:*
  • Vascular surgery-related programs:
  • Pediatric surgery-related programs:

  • * The ABS posts these links as a service to diplomates; it assumes no responsibility for the content of these programs. Posting of links is at the discretion of the ABS. For a CME activity to be posted on this page, it must be: (1) sponsored by a nonprofit organization; (2) national in scope; (3) contain content applicable to ABS diplomates; (4) meet the ABS' definition of self-assessment; (5) be an enduring, ongoing program.
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