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Complex General Surgical Oncology

Complex General Surgical Oncology

Surgeons may enter the ABS certification process for complex general surgical oncology following successful completion of an ACGME-accredited complex general surgical oncology training program and after obtaining initial certification in general surgery.


Specialty of complex general surgical oncology defined

A surgeon certified in complex general surgical oncology has specific knowledge and skills related to the diagnosis, multidisciplinary treatment, and rehabilitation required by patients with cancer, especially those with complex presentations or requiring complex general surgical oncology procedures, or with rare or unusual cancers.

Surgeons certified in this specialty are trained to interact with other oncologic specialists as part of the necessary interdisciplinary collaboration dictated by the multidisciplinary treatment of the cancer patient; to participate in outreach community activities in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation; and to assume a productive role in cancer research and lead cancer studies.

The “complex” term in the name of this certificate is intended to reflect the advanced cognitive, technical, clinical practice, research, and outreach skills that are acquired by an individual certified in this specialty. The term “general” is intended to differentiate the scope of practice of the general surgical oncologist from the scope of practice of other surgical oncologic specialists.

A surgeon certified in complex general surgical oncology has previously achieved certification in general surgery. This certificate builds upon the oncologic knowledge and skills of the certified general surgeon to signify advanced training in the surgical treatment and multidisciplinary care of rare or uncommon cancers or complex presentations.

Certification Requirements

Complex general surgical oncologists must meet specific requirements before they are deemed certified by the ABS

To become certified by the ABS, a complex general surgical oncologist must first meet the training requirements and related criteria in order to enter the initial certification examination process for complex general surgical oncology (CGSO).

Primary certification in surgery is a requirement for certification in CGSO and is part of the application process. Delays in completing initial certification in surgery will delay the CGSO application, and therefore reduce a candidate’s eligibility for certification in CGSO. It is highly recommended that candidates for certification in CGSO attain certification in surgery BEFORE the end of their CGSO fellowship.


Policies related to initial certification in complex general surgical oncology

Candidates will be expected to be aware of and abide by all policies related to initial certification in complex general surgical oncology throughout the certification process.