Get Certified

Pediatric Surgery

Training Requirements

Candidates for initial certification in pediatric surgery must meet all posted requirements in place at the time of application.


All requirements must be met by the time of application to the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Exam

Below is a general overview of the training requirements for pediatric surgery certification.

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

Curriculum Requirements

Specific courses and related requirements

Where applicable, documentation must be provided at the time of application to the Qualifying Exam.

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
This course is offered by both the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, and covers the management of critically ill infants and children. Applicants must submit documentation of successful course completion with their application.

International Rotations

Receive approval in advance from the ABS and the ACGME

In certain circumstances, the ABS will accept rotations completed outside of the U.S. or Canada toward its pediatric surgery training requirements.

Fellowship Program Requirements

Must be completed during fellowship

The following program and time requirements are currently in place for candidates applying to the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying Exam (PSQE).

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

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

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

Applicants to the 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.


  • Abdominal – 120
  • Thoracic – 50
  • Trauma Critical Care – 20 operative, 90 non-operative
  • Oncology – 25
  • Head and Neck/Endocrine/GU/Anorectal – 50
  • Endoscopy – 30
  • TA – 50 minimum (common cases); maximum 100 cases


Offered annually to programs

The Pediatric Surgery In-Training Examination (PSITE) is offered annually to ACGME-accredited pediatric surgery training programs to measure the progress attained by trainees in their knowledge of pediatric surgery. It is a five-hour, web-based examination consisting of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions.

The exam is furnished to programs as an evaluation instrument to assess trainees’ progress. Results are released only to program directors. It is not available to individuals and is not required as part of the board certification process.


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 pediatric surgery exam manager.

Contact a Coordinator

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