Back to News Releases

Update Regarding Continuous Certification

Mar. 12, 2018 Media Contact: Christine Shiffer, 215-568-4000

  • The American Board of Surgery would like to thank all diplomates who have sent us feedback regarding the new ABS Continuous Certification Program. We've learned a lot from your calls, posts, and emails.
  • The new, modular, practice-focused, at-home assessment evolved in response to several years of listening to diplomate concerns about the traditional model of a high-stakes, general, secure exam. Directors of the ABS took the podium at scores of local, regional, and national meetings to provide information and seek input. In addition, nearly 10,000 diplomates responded to our survey last summer, and 5,000 the summer before that.
  • Through your recent comments, we understand there is still further discussion to be had. Although we've been gratified by the positive response to the format of the new general surgery assessment, we hear objections to other parts of the program. The 2020 entry deadline and the institution of an annual fee have been particular areas of concern. We will therefore continue to actively gather input from diplomates over the next several weeks for in-depth review and consideration. We want to take the time to hear from as many diplomates as possible. To that end, we are working on additional ways to collect information and viewpoints and review them in an organized and deliberative manner. Please know that we take your concerns seriously.
  • We value your trust in the validity of the certification process and the public's faith in the meaning of your certificate. We will keep you informed as this moves forward, including further opportunities for providing feedback. Please look for these opportunities in the upcoming days and weeks. In the interim, we welcome your comments via the Continuous Certification email address: cc@absurgery.org.

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 an extensive 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, complex general surgical oncology, surgery of the hand, and hospice and palliative medicine. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.