Part II:
Oral Exam

The oral examination evaluates your clinical experience, problem-solving ability and surgical judgment to ascertain your familiarity with the current literature on colon and rectal diseases and surgery. Each candidate undergoes at least three 30-minute oral examinations by three two-member examining teams made of board members.

We offer the oral examination in the fall of each year. You must have passed the ABCRS Written Examination and be certified by the American Board of Surgery in order to participate.
oral-exam

The oral examination evaluates your clinical experience, problem-solving ability and surgical judgment to ascertain your familiarity with the current literature on colon and rectal diseases and surgery. Each candidate undergoes at least three 30-minute oral examinations by three two-member examining teams made of board members.

We offer the oral examination in the fall of each year. You must have passed the ABCRS Written Examination and be certified by the American Board of Surgery in order to participate.

oral-exam

Qualifications

Qualifications

All candidates must comply with current ABCRS regulations, regardless of when you file your application. You must also meet both the general and professional qualifications.

General Requirements

  1. A candidate shall appear personally before the Board and submit to the required examinations.
  2. A candidate shall limit the majority of his/her practice to colon and rectal surgery.
  3. A candidate may be required to deliver to the Board sufficient case reports to demonstrate proficiency in colon and rectal surgery.
  4. A candidate shall submit a bibliography of papers and books published by the candidate at the request of the Board.
  5. The moral and ethical fitness of a candidate must be satisfactory to the Board and in conformity with the Statements on Principles of the American College of Surgeons, and the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association. Practices not conforming therewith may result in rejection of an application or in deferral of examination until such matters have been resolved.

Professional Qualifications

  1. A candidate must have completed an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency program in colon and rectal surgery following completion of an approved ACGME or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) general surgical residency program that ultimately leads to American Board of Surgery certification.
  2. All candidates must have a current valid registered full and unrestricted license to practice medicine, and must continue to be licensed throughout the certification process.
  3. All candidates must successfully complete the Qualifying Examination of the American Board of Surgery before being admitted to The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery Written Examination (Part I).
  4. A candidate must achieve certification by the American Board of Surgery before being admitted to The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery Oral Examination (Part II).

Schedule

All applicants who have passed the ABCRS Written Examination and are certified by the American Board of Surgery are qualified to register.

Register for Oral Examination

If you plan to take the oral exam in September, please complete the oral exam fee by June 1, 2024. The exam fee is $1,200. If you register between June 2 and June 8, a $200 late fee will be added on. We will not accept any payments after June 8, 2024.

You can pay the exam fee by check, money order or credit card. Credit card payments can be made within the ABCRS portal. Checks and money orders should be submitted to the board office. Once we receive payment confirmation, you will be registered for the 2024 ABCRS oral examination.

Examination Results

We make every effort to be as prompt as possible in notifying candidates of their examination results. Notification letters may be expected four to six weeks following the examination. Examination results will be posted to your ABCRS profile.

If you pass the oral examination, we will issue you a time-limited certificate. Certification is valid for five years from the date of certification, after which your certificate will no longer be valid.

Ethics and Professionalism Policy

Unethical and unprofessional behavior is denoted by any dishonest behavior, including: cheating; lying; falsifying information; misrepresenting one’s educational background, certification status and/or professional experience; and failure to report misconduct. The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy toward these behaviors, and individuals caught exhibiting such behaviors risk being permanently barred from certification, reported to state medical boards, and/or legally prosecuted for copyright or other violations.

Unethical behavior is specifically defined by the ABCRS to include the disclosure, publication, reproduction or transmission of ABCRS examinations, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purposes. This also extends to sharing examination information or discussing an examination while still in progress. Unethical behavior also includes the possession, reproduction or disclosure of materials or information, including examination questions or answers or specific information regarding the content of the examination, before, during or after the examination. This definition specifically includes the recall and reconstruction of examination questions by any means and such efforts may violate federal copyright law. All ABCRS examinations are copyrighted and protected by law; the ABCRS will prosecute violations to the full extent provided by law and seek monetary damages for any loss of examination materials.

Continuing Certification

What does it mean when a physician is required?

Continuing Certification or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is a process adopted by all 24 ABMS boards that assesses six core physician competencies approved by the ABMS and the ACGME throughout a physician’s career. The six competencies that have been identified as important to deliver quality care are communication skills, professionalism, medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, which includes the ability to measure, and improve quality of care and system-based practice. All physicians certified after 1990 are required to participate in Continuing Certification.

What does it mean when a physician is required?

Prior to 1990, certification by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery was granted for life. These certified colon and rectal surgeons are not required to recertify or to meet the requirements of Maintenance of Continuing Certification in this area but are strongly encouraged to do so.