Get Certified
Vascular Surgery

Training Requirements

Candidates for initial certification in vascular surgery must be meeting all posted requirements in place at the time of application.

Intro

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

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.

Training Requirements

Required for certification in vascular surgery

With the primary certificate, an individual may complete any of these three pathways toward board certification in vascular surgery. New vascular surgery programs approved by the ACGME are listed on the ACGME and SVS websites. Please also see our Osteopathic Trainees Policy.

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support® Certification
Candidates must provide documentation of current or past certification in ACLS and ATLS when registering for the VSQE.
Operative Experience

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.

Training Pathways

There are three approved vascular surgery training pathways

An individual may complete any of these three pathways toward board certification in vascular surgery. New vascular surgery programs approved by the ACGME are listed on the ACGME and SVS websites. Please also see our Osteopathic Trainees Policy.

Independent (5+2) Pathway
A five-year general surgery residency program accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC, followed by a two-year independent vascular surgery training program accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC, leading to certification in both disciplines.
ESP (4+2) Pathway
An early specialization program (ESP) accredited by the ACGME of four years of general surgery training followed by two years of vascular surgery training at the same institution, leading to certification in both disciplines.
Integrated (0+5) Pathway
A five-year integrated program accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC of vascular surgery combined with core surgical training, leading to certification only in vascular surgery.
There are slight variations between pathways in terms of what is needed from applicants to vascular surgery initial certification examinations
Independent and ESP Pathways
Integrated Pathway

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.

Program Limit

Program limits exist for all training pathways

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.

VSITE

Offered annually to programs

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.

Contact
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 vascular surgery exam manager.

Contact a Coordinator

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