Successful completion of the Complex General Surgical Oncology Qualifying and Certifying Exams is required for board certification in complex general surgical oncology (CGSO). Applicants for certification in complex general surgical oncology must be currently certified by the ABS in general surgery, in addition to completing the required complex general surgical oncology training.
The Complex General Surgical Oncology Qualifying Examination (CGSO QE) is a five-hour, multiple-choice examination held once per year on a single day at computer-testing centers across the U.S. The Complex General Surgical Oncology Certifying Examination (CGSO CE) is an oral exam consisting of four consecutive 30-minute sessions, and is held once per year.
Upon completion of CGSO training, a surgeon will have no more than seven academic years following graduation to achieve certification in CGSO, i.e., pass both the CGSO QE and CGSO CE.
The seven-year period starts immediately upon completion of training. Only one exam opportunity will be offered in each year of the seven-year period. Candidates must apply immediately after training to receive the full number of exam opportunities.
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 the number of available attempts to take one or both of the the CGSO initial certification examinations. It is highly recommended that candidates attain certification in surgery BEFORE the completion of their CGSO fellowship.
Registration available following the release of 2024 CGSO QE results.
The CGSO QE is offered annually as the first of two exams required for board certification in CGSO. The exam consists of about 200 multiple-choice questions, lasting approximately five hours, designed to assess a surgeon’s cognitive knowledge of CGSO.
The CGSO CE is the last step toward board certification in CGSO. The CE’s purpose is to assess clinical skills in the evaluation of patients with CGSO problems, and in determining appropriate therapy. Emphasis is placed on candidates’ ability to use their knowledge and training to safely, effectively and promptly manage a broad range of clinical problems.
The accommodation policies below apply only to ABS examinations for initial certification.