Get Certified

Surgical Critical Care

Training Requirements

Candidates for initial certification in surgical critical care must meet all posted requirements in place at the time of application.


All requirements must be met by the time of application to the Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam

Below is a general overview of the training requirements for surgical critical care (SCC) certification.

Primary certification in surgery is a requirement for certification in surgical critical care, however, applicants may complete the Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam (SCC CE) prior to obtaining primary certification. These individuals will not be considered certified in the specialty until primary certification is obtained.

Fellowship Program Requirements

Must be completed during fellowship

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

A one-year training program in surgical critical care or anesthesiology critical care accredited by the ACGME. The ABS will also accept completion of a two-year training program in adult critical care medicine accredited by the RCPSC.

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

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

Applicants to the SCC CE must submit a report of their critical care experience for ABS approval. Cases must be from the applicant’s fellowship and verified by the program director.

New Case Minimums: New ACGME case number requirements were implemented for surgeons who complete training in the 2019-2020 academic year and thereafter. These surgeons will be required to have met the new case requirements by the time of their application to the SCC CE.


Successful completion of the Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam is required for board certification in surgical critical care

Interested in the neurocritical care subspecialty? Learn more here.

Examination while in residency

Applicants who complete an ACGME-accredited SCC or anesthesiology critical care fellowship after completing three (3) progressive years of ACGME-accredited residency may apply for surgical critical care certification and take the exam while still in residency. A full and unrestricted medical license is not required at the time of application.

The SCC certificate will not be awarded, however, until primary certification is achieved. Applicants must have a guaranteed categorical residency position in an ACGME-accredited residency program available to them upon completion of SCC or anesthesiology critical care training.


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 surgical critical care exam manager.

Contact a Coordinator

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