Entry of Osteopathic Trainees
into ABS Certification Process
The following policy outlines how residents in osteopathic surgical training programs that receive accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Medical Education (ACGME) on or after July 1, 2015, may enter the American Board of Surgery (ABS) certification process.
Certification in General Surgery
The ABS requires a minimum of five years (60 months) of progressive residency education in an ACGME-approved general surgery residency program for certification in general surgery.
Residents in osteopathic general surgery training programs that become accredited by the ACGME will receive credit toward this requirement as outlined below:
These residents will be required to complete at a minimum the last three years of residency training (PGY-3, -4, and -5) in an ACGME-accredited general surgery residency program.
The academic year in which a program obtains full ACGME accreditation will count as one full year toward the three-year requirement, if satisfactorily completed by the resident.
The effective date of accreditation will be the date on which the program is granted full accreditation by the ACGME. Pre-accredited status does not count toward the three years of fully accredited training.
Other than the stipulations above, these individuals will be required to meet all ABS requirements for certification in effect at the time of application.
Certification in Vascular Surgery
Residents who complete vascular surgery training in an integrated (0+5) program are subject to the same conditions as defined above for general surgery.
To be eligible for certification in vascular surgery by the ABS through the independent (5+2) pathway, osteopathic surgical residents must have successfully completed training in an ACGME-accredited general surgery residency program according to the criteria outlined above, prior to completing an ACGME-accredited vascular surgery fellowship. The vascular surgery fellowship must be accredited by the ACGME for the entire duration of training. All other ABS requirements for certification in vascular surgery in effect at the time of application must also be fulfilled.
Certification in Other ABS Specialties
The ABS requires that graduates of training programs in pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, complex general surgery oncology, hand surgery, and hospice and palliative medicine first be certified in general surgery by the ABS to be eligible for ABS certification in these specialties. Thus residents in osteopathic surgical training programs that become accredited by the ACGME will be required to meet ABS requirements for certification in general surgery as described above and achieve certification in general surgery prior to pursuing certification in these other specialties. The subspecialty training must be completed in a program that is ACGME accredited for the entire duration of the individual's training.
All other requirements for certification in these specialties in effect at the time of application must also be fulfilled.
Please see the Training & Certification section of the ABS website for further details on ABS certification requirements. Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the ABS coordinator.