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History of the Specialty Board

The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery was organized as the American Board of Proctology in 1934 and incorporated on August 13, 1935. It was the sixth Board to be organized and the tenth to be incorporated. In 1934 representatives of the American Proctologic Society (now The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons) sought approval of the American Board of Proctology from the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals and the Advisory Board for Medical Specialists (now the American Board of Medical Specialties.)

In 1940 provision was made for certification of proctologists by the American Board of Surgery and a committee of proctologists known as the Central Certifying Committee in Proctology of the American Board of Surgery. On June 15, 1949, the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties and the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals granted the American Board of Proctology approval as a primary board. It thus became the eighteenth specialty board approved by these organizations.

The Board announced to the Advisory Board of Medical Specialties on February 4, 1961, its intention to change its name to The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Inc. and subsequently formally adopted the change of name at its regular meeting on April 15, 1961.

The Board is sponsored by our specialty’s national organization, The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, by the Association of Program Directors for Colon and Rectal Surgery, by the American Medical Association, and by the American College of Surgeons.

The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery is one of 24 medical specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Through ABMS, the boards work together to establish common standards for physicians to achieve and maintain board certification. The boards were founded by their respective specialties to protect the public by assessing and certifying doctors who meet specific educational, training and professional requirements. The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery is an independent, non-profit organization. For more information about ABMS, visit www.abms.org.