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Modifications to Training Requirements

Mar. 26, 2020 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney , 215-568-4000

The ABS and all of our specialty boards recognize that these are extraordinary times. Our health systems, surgeons, patients, and the public are under a kind of strain we have never experienced. We also know that this inevitably impacts the ability of trainees to meet our traditional requirements. In recognition of this fact, the ABS is making the following global recommendations and changes across specialties:

  • Non-voluntary offsite time that is used for clinical or educational purposes can be counted as clinical time. The types of activities done in this time should be documented by the program.
  • The ABS will accept 44 weeks of clinical time (including the non-voluntary time) for the 2019-20 academic year, without the need for pre-approval, permission or explanation. This represents approximately a 10% decrease in time requirements.
  • For those specialties with case requirements, the ABS will accept a similar 10% decrease in total cases without the need for further documentation.
  • Program directors are entrusted, as they always are, to make a decision about the readiness of the resident for independent practice. If a resident falls below the 90% mark for cases or the 44 week mark for time in training, and the PD nevertheless endorses them as ready for independent practice, the ABS will seek a more detailed supporting statement. This might include information from the CCC, milestones achievements, entrustment through EPAs, ITE scores, evidence of leadership during this crisis, or other information.
  • Residents should assess their own progress towards the standard requirements in terms of rotations, cases, and specialty specific requirements. Residents should make a remediation proposal for gaps, and share with their PDs.
  • The QE applications (and CE application for SCC) are being modified to be all online, and to allow for these variances.

The ABS stands behind our existing training standards. Every effort should be made to meet them, to the extent possible. These modifications are hardship modifications, and are not a permanent change going forward.

Thank you to all of you who work on the front lines. The qualities that make you the surgeons that you are also make you incredibly valuable leaders in these challenging times.

Specialty-specific FAQs are now available.