In June 2012, the ABS approved a new requirement for assessment of operative and clinical performance as part of a broader ongoing effort to standardize the knowledge and skills expected of general surgery residents
- Clinical and Operative Assessment Requirement
- Applicants who complete their general surgery residency training in the 2015-2016 academic year or thereafter will be required to obtain during residency at least 6 operative performance assessments and 6 clinical performance assessments, conducted by their program director or other faculty members.
- When signing an individual's application, the program director will be asked to attest that these 12 assessments have been completed. However the applicant bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring these assessments are performed while in residency. The completed assessment forms will not be collected by the ABS.
- The ABS announced in 2014 a new requirement to ensure all ABS-certified general surgeons have completed a standard curriculum in the use of endoscopic techniques. This new requirement will apply to certification applicants who complete their residency training in the 2017-2018 academic year or thereafter.
- During their general surgery residency, applicants will be required to have completed the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (pdf).
Residents will be trained in basic upper and lower endoscopy, augmenting their endoscopy suite experience with cases in the ICU and operating room. Technical progress is assessed during this block using the Global Assessment of Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Skills (GAGES). GAGES scores should be recorded for residents at baseline and then at least intermittently through the course of their endoscopic experience. The goal is for residents to consistently achieve a GAGES score of ≥ 18 during their procedures. There should also be exposure to multidisciplinary GI meetings such as pathology conferences and GI conferences.
LEVEL IV (Typically completed in PGY-3 or -4) This initial senior experience encompasses improvements in both cognitive and technical skills with cases assessed using GAGES to achieve a minimum score of 18 for both upper and lower endoscopy — a score achieved by “experienced” endoscopists during the GAGES validation studies. Residents continue with more advanced cognitive modules for therapeutic endoscopic techniques. Clinical experience for residents, outside of their dedicated endoscopy experience, should take place in the operating room and ICU, and continued work in the endoscopy suite of the home institution or other affiliated or associated institutions is encouraged.