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American Board of Surgery Extends Competence/CME Requirements
Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, April 2002

Directors of the American Board of Surgery (ABS), the certifying board of the specialty, is making progress toward developing a maintenance of certification program, known as the "Competence Initiative".

Continuing medical education requirements have been more stringently defined, and applied to the recertification application process. Beginning in the year 2002, diplomates holding certificates in vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, and surgical critical care must present evidence that they have accumulated 100 hours of CME relevant to the maintenance of qualifications in those disciplines during the two years prior to submitting an application for recertification. At least 60 hours must meet criteria for Category I.

Two examples that each qualify for the 60 hours are the Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program (SESAP) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the forthcoming two modules of the Vascular Self-Evaluation Program developed by the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

The ABS will provide the ACS with a curriculum to more closely align the content of SESAP with that of the recertification examination, including relative weightings of content categories.

In addition, prototypical tools for outcomes measurement are under development by the Vascular Surgery Board, the Surgical Oncology Advisory Council, and the Pediatric Surgery Board.

Finally, ABS has developed a program for surveillance and action related to competency-based adverse licensure actions. This has resulted in revocation of a number of certificates in the past year.

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