Representation of Certification Status

Policy outlining how a surgeon who is certified by the ABS may present or advertise their certification status.

Representing Your Status

Diplomates of the American Board of Surgery, as well as individuals currently in the process of certification or recertification, must accurately state their certification status at all times. This includes descriptions in curriculum vitae, advertisements, publications, directories, letterhead and websites.

Individuals may describe themselves as certified by the ABS or as an ABS diplomate only when they hold a current certificate awarded by the ABS. Individuals who were previously certified by the ABS and allowed their certification to lapse may not use these descriptions without clearly indicating that the certification is no longer valid, by listing dates of certification, retired, or similar. Individuals who misrepresent their certification status will be contacted by the ABS and may be subject to legal action.

For further information on the terms used by the ABS to report certification status, please see Public Reporting of Status.

DABS – Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery

To assist diplomates in promoting their ABS certification, we recently trademarked the term DABS™ for use after their name. Diplomates are welcome to add this term to business cards, websites and other materials. As this is a new term, you may wish to also include explanatory text, like so:

  • Jordan E. Smith, M.D., DABS (Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery)
  • OR
  • Jordan E. Smith, M.D., DABS
    Diplomate, The American Board of Surgery

We are working on additional ways to help diplomates promote their ABS certification, including new brochures coming this summer.

Use of ABS Logo

The seal of the American Board of Surgery is a registered trademark and may not be copied, reproduced, or used in any way without prior consent from the ABS. Use of the ABS seal or logo for promotional purposes on websites, brochures, letterhead, etc., by diplomates, institutions or others is not permitted under any circumstances. The ABS will contact individuals when such use is detected.

Related Policies

The links posted within resources are provided for informational purposes only. ABS assumes no responsibility for the content of these websites.

Reading Progress

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