WHAT "BOARD CERTIFIED IN SURGERY" MEANS
The American Board of Surgery (ABS) was founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying those surgeons found to be qualified after meeting specific requirements and completing an examination process. A major reason for establishing the specialty board was to identify the surgeon who has met a high standard of excellence.
The ABS is an independent, non-profit organization with worldwide recognition. It is one of the 24 certifying boards that are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The Directors of the ABS are distinguished surgeons in education, research, and practice in the United States.
Only those surgeons who have completed their specialty training in an ABS-accredited residency program in general surgery, such as Stony Brook's surgical residency, can apply to be board certified in surgery.
SUBSPECIALTY CERTIFICATION. In addition to certifying surgeons in general surgery, the ABS also offers certification in the following four surgical subspecialties:
n Pediatric Surgery
n Surgery of the Hand
n Surgical Critical Care
n Vascular Surgery
Fellowship training in these subspecialties must also be completed in approved programs.
The Specialty of Surgery (General Surgery) Defined
The ABS interprets the term "general surgery" in a comprehensive but specific manner, as a discipline having a central core of knowledge embracing anatomy, physiology, metabolism, immunology, nutrition, pathology, wound healing, shock and resuscitation, intensive care and neoplasia, which are common to all surgical specialties.
A general surgeon certified by the ABS is one who has acquired during training knowledge and experience related to the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, and postoperative management, including the management of complications, in the following areas:n ABDOMEN AND ITS CONTENTS
Additionally, the general surgeon is expected by the ABS to have had preoperative, operative and postoperative experience in plastic and cardiothoracic surgery, and must have an understanding of the management of the more common problems in gynecologic, neurologic, orthopaedic, and urologic surgery and of the administration of anesthetic agents. In addition, the surgeon must be familiar with the unique requirements of the geriatric surgical patient and must have knowledge and skills in palliative care, including operative care, counseling patients and families, and management of pain, cachexia and weight loss.
The general surgeon must have had significant experience in performing minimally invasive surgical procedures. The general surgeon must also be capable of employing endoscopic techniques, particularly proctosigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, laparoscopy, and operative choledochoscopy, and must have experience in other relevant diagnostic and therapeutic techniques including laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, and fine needle aspiration. The general surgeon should also have experience with sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy techniques for breast cancer and melanoma, and have the opportunity to become familiar with evolving diagnostic and therapeutic methods, including the following:
n Investigation and manipulation of the distal common bile duct (including sphincterotomy)
n Stereotactic breast biopsy techniques, including advanced breast biopsy instrumentation (ABBI), core needle biopsy, and mammotome techniques
n Physiologic testing and evaluation of the GI tract
n Diagnostic ultrasonography of the head and neck, breast, abdomen, and endorectal
n Non-invasive diagnostic evaluation of the vascular system and invasive vascular interventional techniques