The ABS has been approved to offer a pathway for diplomates of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) to obtain subspecialty certification in surgical critical care (SCC). This pathway is designed to increase the pool of physicians eligible for SCC certification.
As these individuals will not have obtained substantial surgical experience during residency, ABEM diplomates must first complete a preliminary year of general surgery or vascular surgery training prior to entering a SCC fellowship. The preliminary year will include clinical experience in the foundations of surgery and management of complex surgical conditions. The SCC fellowship that follows will be identical to that completed by other SCC trainees.
ABEM diplomates may achieve SCC certification by meeting the following requirements:
Examination While in Residency or Prior to ABEM Certification: Individuals who have not yet completed training in emergency medicine or have not yet achieved ABEM certification may enter this pathway and apply for and take the SCC CE upon completion of their SCC fellowship. Certification in SCC will not be granted, however, until ABEM certification is achieved. Candidates are responsible for providing documentation of ABEM certification to the ABS.
Emergency medicine-trained individuals must complete a year as an advanced preliminary resident in surgery at the institution where they will enroll in the SCC fellowship. This year should be jointly defined and supervised by the general surgery program director and the SCC program director.
The preliminary year should consist of 12 months of intermediate-level surgical experience in the management of patients with abdominal and thoracic operations and complex surgical problems. Acceptable services for this experience are those providing the following: abdominal surgery of all types; trauma surgery; solid organ transplantation; vascular surgery; thoracic surgery; abdominal surgical oncology; and surgical infections. Surgical ICU rotations may not comprise more than three (3) months of the total twelve (12).
Once enrolled in the SCC training program, the individual must hold an accredited position and be listed on the SCC program roster maintained by the ABS. Otherwise, the individual will not be accepted into the ABS SCC certification process.
Former Surgical Residents: An individual who satisfactorily completed two (2) or more progressive years of surgical residency (i.e., at least PGY-1 and PGY-2) prior to entering EM training is exempt from the preliminary year requirement. These individuals may apply to any SCC fellowship program; they are not required to complete the fellowship at the same institution as their prior general surgery or vascular surgery training, nor are they required to apply only to programs that offer a preliminary year.
Approval of Preliminary Year Required: SCC programs that wish to establish a pathway for ABEM diplomates must submit in writing a detailed description of their proposed preliminary year program to the ABS for approval. The request should be mailed on official letterhead to the ABS president and CEO. Approval of the preliminary year will be sent by letter to the program from the ABS president and CEO.
Individuals applying for admission to the SCC CE will be required to meet all application requirements currently in effect. Upon achieving SCC certification, ABEM diplomates will need participate in the ABS Continuous Certification Program to maintain their certificate.
Individuals applying for admission to the SCC CE will be required to meet all application requirements currently in effect. Upon achieving SCC certification, ABEM diplomates must participate in the ABS Continuous Certification Program to maintain their certificate.
Most questions can be answered with the information available on our website. For specific inquiries, please contact the surgical critical care exam manager.
Please use the form below to contact the appropriate exam coordinator. They will respond as soon as possible.