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Focused Practice Designations

Focused Practice Designations recognize those diplomates who have focused their practice on one particular aspect of a given field of medicine or surgery that is not already recognized by subspecialty certification.


Focused Practice Designation in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Focused Practice Designation (FPD) is a new designation of ABMS member boards that recognizes diplomates who have focused their practice on one particular aspect of a given field of medicine or surgery that is not already recognized by specialty or subspecialty certification. Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (MBS) is an example of the development of focused practice within the specialty of general surgery. Most surgeons performing MBS are general surgeons who have focused a significant portion of their time in the practice of bariatric surgery and develop the infrastructure to support a comprehensive MBS program. Therefore, MBS is truly a variation of general surgery rather than a subspecialty of surgery.

The ABS has worked in conjunction with the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) to define the standards of practice, participation, and knowledge that are required to be identified as a surgeon who focuses their practice on MBS. The MBS FPD can be achieved through a combination of fellowship training and/or clinical practice that is dedicated to the treatment of the obese patient population.

Coming Soon: Focused Practice Designation in Adult Complex Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
The ABS and the ABOHNS appreciate the robust response that we received during the recent public comment period. Based on this feedback, we have finalized the blueprint for the Adult Complex Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery (ACTPS) Focused Practice Designation (FPD) Examination. The first exam will be held in spring 2025, with additional information forthcoming. The exam blueprint is now available, which provides guidance on the content areas for this exam.
ACTPS FPD Exam Blueprint
Primary Certification Required

Certification in general surgery is required

Successful completion of the MBS FPD exam is required to be recognized by the ABS as having a focused practice in MBS. Eligible candidates are diplomates who hold a general surgery certification from the ABS and are primarily engaged in the practice of MBS.

The purpose of the MBS FPD is to provide transparent information to those patients with obesity who seek to undergo bariatric surgery or bariatric endoscopy for the treatment of obesity and metabolic diseases, by recognizing surgeons who have additional surgical expertise and dedicate a significant percentage of their practice to the comprehensive care of these patients including primary and revisional bariatric surgery, management of bariatric complications and endoscopy.

The ABS wishes to acknowledge the leadership of the ASMBS in applying for and developing this designation.

team of surgeons stacking hands
MBS FPD Examination

Exams are completed at a secure testing center

The MBS FPD exam consists of about 150 multiple-choice questions designed to evaluate a surgeon’s knowledge of metabolic and bariatric surgery principles and applied science.

It is a one-day exam lasting approximately 4.5 hours and is held at computer-testing facilities across the U.S. The exam is administered in two 120-minute sessions, with an optional 10-minute break after the first session. Once a session has concluded, examinees will not be able to revisit those questions.

Results are posted approximately 4-8 weeks after the exam; surgeons will be notified by email when they are available. The exam’s contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or disclosed in any manner.

3/24 - 4/14
Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Focused Practice Designation Examination
Location: Pearson VUE testing centers
Fee: $750
Application Deadline: 4/1/2025
Fee: $550
General Requirements
Requirements must be met at the time of application to the exam

Diplomates who are MBSAQIP directors or MBS-verified surgeons will have an expedited application process and will not have to submit information regarding their training or MBS experience.

To be eligible for this exam, applicants must meet the following requirements:

team of surgeons posed looking at the camera
How to Apply

Apply through the ABS portal

If a diplomate meets the requirements for this designation as defined above, they may access the application through the Apply & Register page in their ABS portal.

As part of the application review process, ABS will verify that the applicant holds privileges at an MBSAQIP-accredited center.

Items Required

The steps above must be completed by the application deadline to be considered for this year’s examination in MBS, to be administered at Pearson VUE centers.

Following approval of their application, applicants may move to the registration section to complete registration, submit payment for the examination ($750, credit card only), and schedule a testing center location

Maintaining Designation

Certification in general surgery must be maintained

All diplomates with an MBS FPD must actively maintain their general surgery certification through participation in the ABS Continuous Certification Program, including completion of the General Surgery Continuous Certification Assessment every other year. Additional requirements directly related to maintenance of the FPD will apply, with additional information on this process forthcoming.

For any questions, please contact our FPD coordinator.

CME Credit

Diplomates may apply to the AMA to receive credit for successfully completing an FPD examination

Diplomates who pass an ABS Focused Practice Designation examination may apply to the AMA to receive 50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. The AMA will also grant credit for teaching at a live CME activity, being first author on a published article, and obtaining a medically related advanced degree. Please see the AMA website and the direct CME application for details.