Our recent paper in JAMA Surgery demonstrated that both exams that are offered as part of the initial certification process are independently correlated with the risk of severe actions against medical licenses. Those who pass both the QE and CE on the first try are at the lowest risk, and the risk increases with each additional attempt for each exam. Both parts of certification are necessary to maintain our standards.
See our recent study, Association Between American Board of Surgery Initial Certification and Risk of Receiving Severe Disciplinary Actions Against Medical Licenses, published March 2020 in JAMA Surgery.
The application fee for the 2020 Qualifying Exam was not included in the automatic refund. The application fee, paid by the applicant upon submission of the application materials when entering the certification process, is a fee that covers the processing of applications for both the Qualifying and Certifying Exams. By virtue of having an accepted, completed application, you are considered to be "in the examination process."
We will refund application fees upon request. If you choose to have your application fee refunded, you will be removed from the certification process for the 2020-2021 academic year. If you would like to re-enter the certification process in the 2021-2022 academic year or beyond, you can do so by reapplying at that time.