Vascular Surgery Readmissibility to Examinations

Policy outlining pathways available to surgeons who wish to regain admissibility to vascular surgery initial certification examinations.

Individuals who seek certification in vascular surgery may lose their admissibility for a variety of reasons. The following pathways have been established to allow such individuals to regain admissibility to the Vascular Surgery Qualifying Examination (QE) and Vascular Surgery Certifying Examination (CE).

Individuals who wish to pursue one of the readmissibility pathways below must first contact the ABS coordinator to initiate the process.

Time Limitations

If an individual has not actively pursued admissibility or readmissibility to the certification process within 10 years after completion of a vascular surgery training program, they will be required to reenter formal training in a vascular surgery program accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC to regain admissibility to the certification process.

7-Year Readmissibility Period

Individuals who lose admissibility have no more than seven years to successfully regain admissibility to the vascular surgery certification process.

The seven-year period begins immediately once admissibility has been lost, either by exhausting the time limits or exam opportunities granted. If an individual decides to delay in pursuing readmissibility, this will count against the seven-year readmissibility period.

There is an absolute seven-year limit on the total readmissibility process.

Pathway may not be repeated. Once the seven-year period has been exhausted, unsuccessful individuals will be required to re-enter formal training for PGY-4 and PGY-5 level training in a vascular surgery residency program accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC to regain admissibility to the certification process.

QE Readmissibility Pathway

This pathway applies to individuals who exhausted their Vascular Surgery QE examination opportunities or time limit.

To pursue this pathway, an applicant must submit the following:

  1. A completed application for readmissibility
  2. Documentation of a valid and unrestricted medical license
  3. Documentation of 60 credits of Category 1 CME with self-assessment completed within the last 24 months
  4. Evidence of successful completion of the most recent version of the Society for Vascular Surgery’s (SVS) Vascular Education and Self-Assessment Program (VESAP®). This may be used to satisfy the CME requirement above
  5. Application fee of $450 paid by credit card through the ABS website
  6. Reference letters from the chair of surgery and chair of the credentials committee at the hospital where the majority of the surgeon’s work is done
  7. An operative case log for the most recent 12-month period

If the applicant has not been actively practicing surgery, the last two items may be waived. However, to be eligible for this pathway an individual must be practicing clinical medicine in some venue and submit reference letters from two individuals in a supervisory capacity who are familiar with the applicant’s practice. These reference letters must describe the applicant’s practice and attest to the applicant’s performance, ethics and professionalism.

The completed application must be received by December 1 in the year prior to when the applicant wishes to take the examination listed below. Upon approval of the application, the following requirement must be fulfilled within a period of five years from date of approval. Failure to successfully complete this requirement within the five-year window will require the entire application process to be reinitiated.

A passing score on the Vascular Surgery In-Training Examination (VSITE) must be obtained. This score will vary slightly from year to year. The VSITE is a web-based examination administered once annually through vascular surgery training programs on a specific date in February or March. Individuals pursuing this pathway will be required to find a program through which to take the VSITE.

Admissibility and Examination Opportunities

Upon successful completion of this pathway, the applicant will be admissible to the Vascular Surgery QE for four opportunities within four years and will be declared “in the examination process.” The start of the four-year period of admissibility begins upon successful completion of the requirements and continues for four consecutive academic years thereafter.

If the applicant is unsuccessful in completing this pathway or in passing the Vascular Surgery QE during the readmissibility period, they must complete a period of formal training in a program accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC to regain admissibility.

Vascular Surgery CE Readmissibility Pathway

This pathway applies to individuals who exhausted their Vascular Surgery CE examination opportunities or time limit.

To pursue this pathway, an applicant must submit the following:

  1. A completed application for readmissibility
  2. Documentation of a valid and unrestricted medical license
  3. Documentation of 60 credits of Category 1 CME with self-assessment completed within the last 24 months
  4. Evidence of successful completion of the most recent version of the SVS’ Vascular Education and Self-Assessment Program (VESAP). This may be used to satisfy the CME requirement above
  5. Application fee of $450 paid by credit card through the ABS website
  6. Reference letters from the chair of surgery and chair of the credentials committee at the hospital where the majority of the surgeon’s work is done
  7. An operative case log for the most recent 12-month period

If the applicant has not been actively practicing surgery, the last two items may be waived. However, to be eligible for this pathway an individual must be practicing clinical medicine in some venue and submit reference letters from two individuals in a supervisory capacity who are familiar with the applicant’s practice. These reference letters must describe the applicant’s practice and attest to the applicant’s performance, ethics and professionalism.

The completed application must be received by December 1 in the year prior to when the applicant wishes to take the examinations listed below. Upon approval of the application, the following requirement must be fulfilled within a period of five years from date of approval. Failure to successfully complete this requirement within the five-year window will require the entire application process to be reinitiated.

Successful completion of the Vascular Surgery Qualifying Examination

The Vascular Surgery Qualifying Examination is administered once annually at computer-testing centers on a specific date, usually in September or October.

Admissibility and Examination Opportunities

Upon successful completion of this pathway, the applicant will be admissible to the Vascular Surgery CE for three opportunities within three years and will be declared “in the examination process.” The start of the three-year period of admissibility begins upon successful completion of the requirements and continues for three consecutive academic years thereafter.

If the applicant is unsuccessful in completing this pathway or in passing the Vascular Surgery CE during the readmissibility period, they must complete a period of formal training in a program accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC to regain admissibility.

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