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ABOG Announces New Eligibility Requirement for Specialty Board Certification


Dallas, Texas (January 22, 2018) – The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) announced today that it is adding a new requirement – Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS™) – for physicians seeking board certification that will ensure that diplomates possess critical skills for the contemporary practice of obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN).  The new requirement will apply to residents graduating after May 31, 2020.

Applicants for ABOG certification will be required to successfully complete the FLS™ program as a prerequisite for specialty board certification.  Requiring completion of FLS™ is part of a broader initiative by ABOG to incorporate simulation and to standardize the knowledge and training obtained by OB-GYN residents.  It also establishes an additional objective measure that all U.S. obstetricians, gynecologists and surgeons applying for primary specialty certification must meet.  ABOG’s goal is to assure residents have the opportunity to learn and practice laparoscopic skills in a scientifically accepted format, and that they have the opportunity to measure and document those skills, ultimately resulting in higher quality patient care. An ABOG FAQ document is available on the website regarding the new FLS™ requirement.

The American Board of Surgery also requires successful completion of FLS™ to apply for general surgery certification. FLS™ is a joint program of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS).  

“FLS™ teaches the physiology, knowledge, and technical skills required in basic laparoscopic surgery, and includes hands-on skills training and assessment,” said Wilma Larsen, M.D., Associate Executive Director for Examinations at ABOG.  

Andrew Satin, M.D., ABOG Board Member and Chair of ABOG’s Simulation Committee said, “The FLS™ program establishes a standard set of didactic information and manual skills serving as a basic curriculum to guide residents and practicing surgeons in the performance of basic laparoscopic surgery.  Requiring FLS™ for certification enhances our ability to ensure the candidates we assess possess the requisite fundamentals that they need to provide quality care for women.”  

FLS™ may be taken at any time during training and need only be completed once successfully to meet ABOG the requirement.  Applicants for ABOG certification must provide documentation of successful completion. Read the FAQs for Program Administrators and for FAQs for Residents.

Specifics about FLS™ are available at www.flsprogram.org.

Contact ABOG at generalcert@abog.org with certification requirement questions, or call 214.871.1619 and ask for an Exam Department specialist. 

Contact Inga Brissman at inga@sages.org regarding questions pertaining to specifics about the FLS™ program, including curriculum, training and testing. 


About ABOG 
The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States. Founded in 1930, ABOG is one of 24 specialty Boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Based in Dallas, ABOG serves candidates and diplomates in the United States and Canada in the ob-gyn specialty, plus several subspecialties, including Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; Maternal-Fetal Medicine; Gynecologic Oncology; and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. ABOG also offers a continuous certification (Maintenance of Certification) program. 

About the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
The mission of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is to improve quality patient care through education, research, innovation and leadership, principally in gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery. SAGES is a leading surgical society, representing a worldwide community of over 6,000 surgeons that can bring minimal access surgery, endoscopy and emerging techniques to patients worldwide. The organization sets the clinical and educational guidelines on standards of practice in various procedures, critical to enhancing patient safety and health.

About FLS™
The mission of FLS™ is to provide surgical residents, fellows and practicing surgeons with an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery in a consistent, scientifically accepted format; and to test cognitive, surgical decision-making, and technical skills, all with the goal of improving the quality of patient care.