Requirements for Certification

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REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION

The American Osteopathic Board of Surgery (hereafter referred to as the “Board”) will accept for examination for certification only osteopathic physicians who are specializing in Cardiothoracic Surgery, General Surgery, General Vascular Surgery, Neurological Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Urological Surgery and certificate of added qualifications in Surgical Critical Care, or such other surgical specialty that may be assigned to this Board by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Board of Trustees.

Candidates for certification by the AOA through the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery must PROVIDE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE of the following requirements:

1. The candidate must have graduated from an AOA-accredited College of Osteopathic Medicine.

2. The candidate must be licensed or credentialed to practice in the state or military jurisdiction where practice is conducted and must provide documentary evidence of an unrestricted license prior to taking an examination.

3. The candidate must conform to the standards set forth in the AOA Code of Ethics.

4. The candidate must maintain continuous and uninterrupted membership in good standing of the AOA or the Canadian Osteopathic Association throughout the certification process. Following the examination process, if a candidate is found to be delinquent in his/her maintenance of membership and/or payment of membership dues, certification may be delayed.

5. The candidate must have satisfactorily completed an AOA-approved OGME-1 residency training year.

6. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009, NEW CANDIDATES MUST HAVE COMPLETED ALL THE PRESCRIBED YEARS OF AN AOA-APPROVED RESIDENCY TRAINING PROGRAM IN THEIR SURGICAL SPECIALTIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE BOARD PRIOR TO REGISTERING FOR THE WRITTEN QUALIFYING EXAMINATION. CandidateS must have all previous years of residency training reviewed and approved by the Specialty College and its Residency Evaluation and Standards Committee.

7. Candidates who entered the certification process prior to July 1, 2009 must have evidence of satisfactory completion of previous years of an AOA-approved residency training program in the surgical specialties under the jurisdiction of the Board. Candidates must have all previous years of residency training reviewed and approved by the Specialty College and its Residency Evaluation and Standards Committee.

8. At least one (1) year (12 months) of the surgical specialty training program must encompass all aspects of the particular specialty including adequate training in the basic medical sciences, with emphasis on pathology, physiology and osteopathic principles as related to the specialty. The required number of years of residency training in each specialty are as follows:

a. Cardiothoracic Surgery:

i. Four (4) years (48 months) of training in General Surgery followed by two (2) years (24 months) of training in Cardiothoracic Surgery

ii. Candidates who began their residency training with the required OGME-1R internship year effective in the academic year 2008, five (5) years (60 months) of training in General Surgery followed by two (2) years (24 months) of training in Cardiothoracic Surgery

b. General Surgery:

i. Four (4) years (48 months) of training in General Surgery

ii. Candidates who began their residency training with the required OGME-1R internship year effective in the academic year 2008, five (5) years (60 months) of training in General Surgery

c. General Vascular Surgery:

i. Four (4) years (48 months) of training in General Surgery followed by one (1) year (12 months) of training in General Vascular Surgery

ii. Candidates who began their residency training with the required OGME-1R internship year effective in the academic year 2008, five (5) years (60 months) of training in General Surgery followed by one (1) year (12 months) in General Vascular Surgery

d. Neurological Surgery:

i. One (1) year (12 months) of training in General Surgery followed by four (4) years (48  months) of training in Neurological Surgery

ii. Five (5) years (60 months) in Neurological Surgery

iii. Candidates who began their residency training with the required OGME-1R internship year effective in the academic year 2008, six (6) years (72 months) of training in Neurological Surgery

e. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery:

i. Three (3) years (36 months) of training in General Surgery followed by two (2) years (48 months) of training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

ii. Candidates who began their residency training with the required OGME-1R internship year effective in the academic year 2008, three (3) years (36 months) of training in General Surgery followed by two (2) years (48 months) of training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

iii. An AOA-approved and completed residency program in Orthopedic Surgery

iv. An AOA-approved and completed residency program in Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery

f. Urological Surgery:

i. Two (2) years (24 months) of training in General Surgery followed by three (3) years (36 months) of training in Urological Surgery

ii. One (1) year (12 months) of training in General Surgery followed by four (4) years (48 months) of training in Urological Surgery

iii. Five (5) years (60 months) of training in Urological Surgery

iv. Candidates who began their residency training with the required OGME-1R internship year effective in the academic year 2008, five (5) years (60 months) of training in Urological Surgery

9. Candidates who entered the process of certification prior to July 1, 2013 in Cardiothoracic Surgery and General Vascular Surgery are required to first pass the written and oral examinations in General Surgery. Candidates who enter the process after July 1, 2013 are not required to first pass a qualifying and certifying (written and oral) examination in General Surgery. Note: Those candidates who wish to seek dual certification (i.e., General Surgery and General Vascular Surgery) will be required to take and pass the qualifying and certifying (written and oral) examinations in both specialties.

10. Following satisfactory compliance with the prescribed requirements for examination, the candidate is required to pass written qualifying and oral certifying examinations which shall be designed, constructed and conducted so as to evaluate the candidate’s understanding of the basic sciences, knowledge of surgical principles and the osteopathic philosophy of surgery as it applies to diagnosis and management of surgical diseases, familiarity with current advances in surgical philosophy and techniques, possession of valid surgical judgment and a high degree of skill in the diagnostic, operative and therapeutic procedures involved in the specialty practice.

11. For candidates entering the certification process for the first time after January 1, 2006, a qualifying and certifying (written and oral) examination are required. NOTE: In order to enter the final phase of certification, the candidate must have achieved program complete status from the Specialty College, and all the documentation requested at the time of original application submission MUST be in the candidate’s file.

12. The clinical examination for certification in General Surgery will be waived for those already certified by a three-part examination in Cardiothoracic Surgery, General Vascular Surgery, Neurological Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Urological Surgery provided that:

a. Documentation from the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons or the AOA that verifies completion of training in a General Surgery residency is on file with the AOBS.

b. General Surgery written and oral examinations were successfully completed.

13. Candidates for examination for certification are required to file an application which shall set forth their qualifications for examination.

14. Candidates beginning the certification process for the first time in 1997 and thereafter will be issued a time-dated certificate for a ten (10) year period. All candidates who achieve certification will be automatically registered to enter the Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) process (see Appendix D for additional information). The Board will make available, beginning in the eighth year of certification, the opportunity to take the renewal written examination (formerly referred to as recertification).

Certification of Added Qualifications

Certification of Added Qualification (CAQ) constitutes a modification of a general certificate or certificate of special qualifications to reflect additional training of at least one (1) year (12 months) in length and satisfactory completion of a certifying examination in that field. The training required for added qualifications must incorporate a specific and identifiable body of knowledge within the broader practice of the general specialty. Certificates read, “Certification of Added Qualifications in (added field).”

Surgical Critical Care – the candidate must be certified in General Surgery or a surgical specialty and must pass a Surgical Critical Care written examination after one (1) year (12 months) of ACOS- or AOA-approved training in Surgical Critical Care.

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