A primary certificate in vascular surgery took effect July 1, 2006, giving vascular surgery a board certification pathway independent of general surgery. Its significance as a standard of skill and knowledge in vascular surgery and with regard to credentialing for vascular surgery procedures remains the same. In most cases, completion of the general surgery certification process is not required to enter the vascular surgery certification process.
Below is a general overview of the training requirements for vascular surgery certification. For complete details, please refer to the ABS Booklet of Information – Vascular Surgery.
Candidates for certification in vascular surgery must submit an operative experience report as surgeon and assistant surgeon that is deemed acceptable to the ABS, not only as to volume, but as to spectrum and complexity of cases. Specific case requirements:
Cases must be from the applicant’s vascular surgery residency or fellowship and verified by the program director.
Full-Time Research Limits: For individuals in integrated programs, no more than six months of residency may be devoted to research. For individuals in independent programs, no more than 10% of the total required vascular surgical experience may be devoted to research. Any research time beyond 10% requires prior ABS approval.
Candidates for certification in vascular surgery must have completed their vascular surgery training at no more than two programs. For integrated programs, the final two years must be completed at the same institution. For independent programs, the final 18 months must be completed at the same institution. Individuals in independent programs must also have completed their general surgery residency at no more than three programs.
Successful completion of both the Vascular Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Exams is required.
The Vascular Surgery In-Training Examination (VSITE®) is offered annually to ACGME-accredited vascular surgery training programs to measure residents’ progress in their knowledge of vascular surgery.
The exam is furnished to programs as an evaluation instrument to assess the progress attained by residents. Results are released only to program directors. It is not available to individuals and is not required as part of the board certification process.
Most questions can be answered with the information available on our website. For specific inquiries, please contact the vascular surgery exam manager.
Please use the form below to contact the appropriate exam coordinator. They will respond as soon as possible.