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ABS E-News

News from the American Board of Surgery

Spring 2014

  • Welcome to Our New Directors
  • Applications Open for All 2014 Exams
  • "MOC Exam" - Same Exam, New Name
  • Initial Certification Requirements
  • Use of ABS Logo

Welcome to Our New Directors

The ABS will welcome six new directors this July from the following organizations:

  • Dr. Reid B. Adams - Southeastern Surgical Congress
  • Dr. Robert D. Fanelli - At-Large
  • Dr. John D. Mellinger - Association of Program Directors in Surgery
  • Dr. David T. NetscherAmerican Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Dr. Lee L. Swanstrom - SAGES
  • Dr. Mark L. WeltonAmerican Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery

In addition, the ABS Gastrointestinal Surgery Advisory Council will welcome Dr. Mark C. Callery of the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association and Dr. Daniel J. Scott of the Fellowship Council. Separately, the Residency Review Committee for Surgery has elected Dr. Richard C. Thirlby as a new ABS representative. Full Announcement

Applications Open for All 2014 Exams

The online application process is now open for all 2014 ABS examinations. See below for application deadlines and exam dates.

To apply, go to Select your specialty from the left-hand column, then your exam. In that area you will find an exam overview, application instructions, and the online application process (login required).

General Surgery Qualifying Exam (QE) and Surgical Principles Exam (SPE) Late Application Deadline: June 2 
Exam Date: Aug. 14
General Surgery MOC (Recertification) Exam

Application Deadline: Aug. 1
Late Deadlines: Sept. 2,
Oct. 1, Nov. 3
Exam Dates: Dec. 1 - 13

Vascular Surgery QE, Pediatric Surgery QE, Complex General Surgical Oncology QE, Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam (CE)

Application Deadline: July 1
Late Deadline: July 15
Exam Date: Sept. 15

MOC (Recertification) Exams in Vascular Surgery, Pediatric Surgery and Surgical Critical Care

Application Deadline: July 1
Late Deadline: July 15
Exam Dates: 
Sept. 15 - 27

Hospice and Palliative Medicine CE

Late Deadline: June 2
Exam Dates: 
Oct. 2

"MOC Exams" - Same Exam, New Name

As noted above, ABS recertification exams are now called "MOC exams." While the name is new, the exams themselves are unchanged. MOC exams will continue to be required at 10-year intervals. Diplomates may apply to take an exam starting three years before their certificate's expiration. For surgeons who hold multiple ABS certificates, the exam is the only requirement of the ABS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program that must be repeated for each certificate. 

We will contact you by mail and e-mail when you are eligible to apply for an MOC exam, or when your three-year MOC reporting is due - please keep your contact information up to date. See also our MOC Requirements page for more on the ABS MOC Program.

Initial Certification Requirements

In recent years, the ABS has introduced several requirements for initial certification. For general surgery, these include ATLS, ACLS and FLSTM, as well as the upcoming Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum requirement. For vascular surgery, this includes the RPVI credential, which is required as of this year. For pediatric surgery, the PALS program is now a requirement.

Diplomates should be aware that such requirements apply only to newly graduated residents or fellows who are becoming certified for the first time in these specialties; they do not apply to surgeons already certified in these specialties.

Use of ABS Logo

Please note that the ABS does not permit use of its logo by other parties, including diplomates, practices and hospitals. This includes use on websites, letterhead and marketing materials. Diplomates, however, are welcome to link to from their websites. The ABS also has brochures available to assist you in educating patients about the significance of ABS certification.

 Diplomate Online Services (login required)

 Update your e-mail or mailing address: Update Personal Information 

 View exam results; print verification of certification/MOC status: Exam Records

 Track your MOC participation: MOC Timeline

 Record your CME activities: CME Repository

- Are your colleagues receiving this e-mail? Please forward to any colleagues who may not be receiving this update.

- The American Board of Surgery is committed to keeping diplomates and others informed about its activities. Send your feedback about this update to

- Visit the ABS on the web at

The American Board of Surgery - 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Ste. 860 - Philadelphia, PA 19103-1847

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