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Complex General Surgical Oncology

Training Requirements

Candidates for initial certification in complex general surgical oncology must meet all posted requirements in place at the time of application.


All requirements must be met by the time of application to the Complex General Surgical Oncology Qualifying Exam

Below is a general overview of the training requirements for complex general surgical oncology (CGSO) certification.

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 complex general surgical oncology attain certification in surgery BEFORE the end of their CGSO fellowship.

Fellowship Program Requirements

Must be completed during fellowship

The following program and time requirements are currently in place for candidates applying to the CGSO QE.

A minimum of two years (96 weeks) of progressive education satisfactorily completed in a complex general surgical oncology fellowship program accredited by the ACGME or in general surgical oncology accredited by the RCPSC.

At least 48 weeks of full-time clinical activity in each fellowship year, regardless of the amount of operative experience obtained.

Have obtained increasing levels of responsibility during CGSO training to become fully prepared for independent practice.

Applicants to the CGSO QE must submit an operative experience report that is deemed acceptable to the ABS, not only as to volume, but as to spectrum and complexity of cases. Cases must be from the applicant’s fellowship and verified by the program director.

New case number requirements were implemented by the ACGME for surgeons who began complex general oncology fellowship training on or after July 1, 2016. These surgeons are required to have met the new case requirements by the time of their application to the CGSO QE.


Our exam managers are here to help.

Most questions can be answered with the information available on our website. For specific inquiries, please contact the complex general surgical oncology exam manager.

Contact a Coordinator

Please use the form below to contact the appropriate exam coordinator. They will respond as soon as possible.