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ABS Accepting Additional Nominations for At-Large Director Positions

July 25, 2012 Media Contact: Christine Shiffer, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is currently accepting nominations for two at-large director positions to be filled through an open nomination process. One candidate will be selected in January 2013 for a six-year term starting July 2013; another will be chosen in January 2014 for a six-year term beginning July 2014.

Three at-large positions were initially established in 2005 to identify exceptional individuals who reflect the broad U.S. surgical community. The ABS is now seeking to replace the current at-large directors as their terms expire. The first at-large position was filled this past winter by Dr. Tyler G. Hughes, who practices in a rural area of Kansas. The recruitment period now beginning is for individuals to replace the directors in the other two positions. Diplomates who were previously nominated in 2011 will automatically be included as nominees for the remaining two positions and do not need to resubmit applications.

The recruitment of at-large directors is intended to give representation to surgeons from diverse backgrounds in community or group practice who may not have had the opportunity for involvement in national societies. The ABS seeks highly qualified, actively practicing surgeons who are regarded by their colleagues as exemplary practitioners and role models, and who are advocates for advancing the quality of surgical practice and improving surgical care.

At-large directors have the same term and responsibilities as all other directors, including participation in three board meetings and three oral examinations each year (approximately 21-25 days yearly). ABS bylaws prevent a director from serving after age 65.

  • Nominations for these positions may come from any medical or surgical organization, from local chapters of the American College of Surgeons, from individuals, or by self-nomination. The following requirements apply:
  • Candidates must be currently certified in surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, or surgical critical care.
  • Candidates must have been certified for at least ten years, and be able to serve a six-year term before reaching the age of 65.
  • Candidates must be engaged primarily in a non-academic practice setting or group practice of surgery.
  • Candidates must have direct experience with medical or surgical education, although present involvement is not required.
  • Candidates will be given preferential consideration who exhibit diversity in ethnicity, gender, race, or other qualities that may be underrepresented on the ABS but are characteristics of practicing surgeons in the United States.
  • Prior involvement with American Board of Surgery activities, such as serving as an associate examiner at Certifying Examinations or as a consultant on an examination committee, will be considered positively.

Applications for the at-large positions will be accepted from now until September 14, 2012. Applicants or sponsors should send a curriculum vitae and letter of intent addressed to Frank R. Lewis, M.D., ABS executive director, at 1617 JFK Blvd., Suite 860, Philadelphia, PA 19103. In the letter, the applicant or sponsor should acknowledge the individual's willingness to meet the time commitment involved in being a director of the ABS.

Candidates who merit serious consideration will be asked to discuss in writing their reasons for seeking director status, their commitment to resident education, and their interests and track record in promoting surgical quality. In addition, at least three references will be solicited who can attest to the candidate's professional status and the regard in which he or she is held by peers. Personal interviews will also be conducted in Philadelphia among a small number of finalists. All submitted information will be held confidentially within the American Board of Surgery. The selection process will be under the direction of the officers and executive committee of the ABS and final selection will be by secret ballot of the full board at their winter meeting.

Applications of the non-selected candidates will be retained and evaluated next year for the remaining at-large position by the same process. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Lewis at the ABS office in Philadelphia.

About the ABS

The American Board of Surgery is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Surgeons certified by the ABS, known as diplomates, have completed at least five years of surgical training following medical school and successfully completed a written and oral examination process administered by the ABS. The ABS offers board certification in general surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, surgery of the hand, hospice and palliative medicine, and complex general surgical oncology. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.