Pathway II


Admission to the ABTS Congenital Heart Surgery subspecialty certification process for those whose training began prior to July 1, 2008 is based on train­ing and current experience, case volume and distrib­ution, primary ABTS Board certification, contribu­tions to the specialty and professional accomplishments, duration of active participation in a congenital heart surgery-related field, and partici­pation in continuing medical education. Applicants are expected to conform to and maintain high moral and ethical standards. Applicants interested in completing a Pathway II Congenital Heart Surgery Application must contact the ABTS via writing to obtain access to the online application.


The written examination is designed primarily to assess cognitive skills. The content of the questions on this examination represents uniform coverage of all aspects of the congenital heart surgery specialty.  Candidates in Pathway II who successfully pass the ABTS Part I (Written) examination for Congenital Heart Surgery will not be required to take an oral examination. 

Additional information will be provided to access the Pathway II application for certification in Congenital Cardiac Surgery. The deadline to complete an application is August 15, 2023. No application will be considered for the current year when completed after the deadline.

After a candidate’s application is approved and the candidate is declared eligible for the written examination, he or she must pass the examination within three (3) years. Candidates who fail an examination may be eligible to take the examination the following year within the 3-year limitation.

Candidates who fail the examination 3 times, or who do not pass the examination within the allotted time, will be required to complete an ACGME-approved congenital cardiac surgery residency training program before they will be permitted to retake the examination. The required additional training must be completed within the succeeding three (3) year period after losing eligibility for the written examination.