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ABS Transition to Calendar Year

July 11, 2014 Media Contact: Christine Shiffer, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) recently shifted its certificates and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program from the academic year to the calendar year. This change is intended to make ABS certification and MOC more intuitive and easier to follow.

  • As part of this transition, all current ABS certificates have been extended by six months to expire on December 31 of the year of expiration. Going forward, all certificates issued by the ABS will have an expiration date of December 31.
  • The ABS will not be issuing revised certificates; however proof of this extension may be printed from our website using the Check a Certification feature.
MOC Three-Year Cycles
  • The requirements of the ABS MOC Program run in three-year cycles. MOC three-year cycles now run from January 1 to December 31. However any CME completed based on the former cycle of July 1 to June 30 may still be used.
  • The MOC Timeline of ABS diplomates has been shifted six months forward to run on the calendar year. Current three-year cycles will end on December 31, rather than June 30.
  • At the end of a three-year cycle, ABS diplomates are required to report on their MOC activities by completing an online form, the MOC Status Form. This form will now be due by March 1, two months after end of cycle. We will notify diplomates when the form is required (update contact information).
  • For surgeons not yet enrolled in MOC, your first MOC cycle will begin the January 1 following the academic year in which you passed the exam that enrolled you in MOC. To learn more, please see our MOC Requirements page.
MOC (Recertification) Exams
  • Diplomates are eligible to take an MOC (recertification) exam starting three years before a certificate's expiration. The change to the calendar year means that MOC exams may first be taken in the eighth year of a 10-year certification. MOC exams will continue to be given each fall, with the online application process opening the preceding April.
  • The ABS will notify diplomates when they are eligible to apply for an MOC examination. MOC exam eligibility is also indicated on each surgeon's MOC Timeline.
  • For questions regarding this transition, please contact our MOC coordinator.
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 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. They must then maintain their board certification through ongoing learning and practice improvement activities.
  • 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.