Changes in Board Certification Improve Vascular Surgery Training

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´╗┐Changes in Board Certification Improve Vascular Surgery Training
Certification in vascular surgery (VS) in the United States is currently the responsibility of the American Board of Surgery (ABS), which is also responsible for certification in general surgery (GS). The ABS is one of 24 certifying boards that are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). As such, it is responsible for certifying those surgeons who are found to be qualified after meeting specific training requirements and completing an examination process. Certification in VS is specifically overseen by the Vascular Surgery Board (VSB), a component board of the ABS. Details of the ABS and VSB structure can be found on their Web site ( ). It should be noted that the ABS is responsible for certification of individuals and is not responsible for hospital credentialing or surgeon reimbursement.

Accreditation of VS training programs in the United States is the responsibility of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which develops accreditation standards and reviews accredited programs for compliance. In VS and GS, this is done by the Residency Review Committee for Surgery (RRC-S), one of 26 specialty-specific review committees of the ACGME. Details of the ACGME and RRC-Surgery structures can be found on their Web site ( ). It should be noted that the RRC-S is responsible for establishing minimal training requirements in VS training programs but is not responsible for individual surgeon certification. However, surgeons seeking certification by an ABMS board must successfully complete an ACGME-accredited residency training program.

Currently, VS is a specialty board of the ABS, such that primary certification in GS is required before a secondary certificate in VS can be obtained. Similarly, completion of an ACGME-accredited residency program in GS is a prerequisite for VS training in an ACGME-accredited program. However, recertification in GS is not required to maintain certification in VS.

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