Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam
It is expected that trainees meet all requirements listed below. If a trainee is unable to meet a specific requirement(s) due to COVID, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
To be eligible for this exam, applicants must:
Examination While in Residency
- Applicants who complete an ACGME-accredited surgical critical care or anesthesiology critical care (ACC) fellowship after completing 3 progressive years of ACGME-accredited residency may apply for SCC certification and take the exam while still in residency.
A full and unrestricted medical license is not required at the time of application.
- The SCC certificate will not be awarded, however, until primary certification is achieved. Applicants must have a guaranteed categorical residency position in an ACGME-accredited residency program available to them upon completion of SCC or ACC training.
Examination While in Process of Obtaining Primary Certification
- Applicants who have completed residency training in an ACGME-accredited program and are taking either the general surgery written exam (QE), the general surgery oral exam (CE), the vascular surgery written exam (QE) or the vascular surgery oral exam (CE) may apply for and take the SCC CE exam while in the process of obtaining primary certification.
- The SCC certificate will not be awarded until primary certification is achieved.
- Individuals who meet ABS requirements may apply for the exam through the online application process, which is posted in early spring (see How to Apply). After your application is approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to register for this year's exam.
- Once you complete registration and submit the examination fee, it will take up to five business days to process. Following processing, an Exam Admission Card/Authorization Letter with instructions on how to schedule your exam center directly with Pearson VUE will then be posted on your Exam Records and Results page.
- Active duty military personnel who may encounter difficulty taking the exam due to their service should contact the ABS as soon as possible. Please see How to Apply for information about other exam accommodations.
- Individuals who complete a surgical critical care fellowship during the 2019-2020 academic year or thereafter will have 7 years following training to achieve certification in surgical critical care.
- Once an application is approved, the applicant will have a maximum of 5 opportunities within 5 consecutive years to take and pass the exam. If you decide not to take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity as the five-year limit is absolute.
- During the five-year period, examinees who postponed or were unsuccessful will be able to register for the next exam without completing a new application; the original application will suffice.
- Individuals who exhaust their seven-year admissibility period should contact the ABS regarding the readmissibility requirements in effect at that time.
- If successful on the exam, and if already certified in general surgery or another specialty as noted above, you will be deemed certified in surgical critical care and receive your official certificate within 6 months. You must participate in the ABS Continuous Certification Program to maintain your certificate. The ABS will waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment toward Continuous Certification for this certification; the waiver will appear automatically in your CME Repository.
- Surgeons who achieve ABS certification may also apply to the AMA to receive 60 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Please see the AMA website and the direct CME application (pdf) for details.
For specific inquiries, please send an email to the exam coordinator.