Pathways to Certification

Certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery may be achieved by completing one of the following four pathways and fulfillment of the other requirements.  

PATHWAY ONE is the successful completion of a full residency in General Surgery approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), followed by the successful completion of an ACGME-approved Thoracic Surgery residency.  Successful completion of a 4/3 General Surgery/Thoracic Surgery Joint Training Program approved by the ACGME fulfills the requirements of Pathway One.

With regards to single accreditation, Osteopathic candidates will need to complete their last three years (PGY 3-5) in a general surgery residency program that was fully accredited by the ACGME, followed by the successful completion of an ACGME-approved Thoracic Surgery residency.  For more information on single accreditation by the ACGME, Click Here .

PATHWAY TWO is the successful completion of a full 5-year residency in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery or Vascular Surgery accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, followed by the successful completion of an ACGME-approved Thoracic Surgery residency.

PATHWAY THREE is the successful completion of a six-year integrated Thoracic Surgery residency developed along guidelines established by the TSDA and approved by the ACGME (RRC-TS).

PATHWAY FOUR is the successful completion of an ACGME-approved Vascular Surgery residency that can lead to primary certificationby the ABS followed by the successful completion of an ACGME-approved Thoracic Surgery residency.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

1. An ethical standing in the profession and a moral status in the community that are acceptable to the Board.

2. A satisfactory performance on the American Board of Thoracic Surgery examinations.

3. A currently registered full and unrestricted license to practice medicine granted by a state or other United States jurisdiction. The license must be valid at the time of application for admission to examination and maintained until certified by the ABTS. A temporary limited license such as an educational, institutional, or house staff permit is not acceptable to the Board, unless the candidate is currently enrolled in a subspecialty residency approved by the ACGME.  Candidates for certification are required to notify the Board if any restrictions are placed on their license during the certification process.

4. For residents who began their Thoracic Surgery residency in July 2003 and after, certification by the American Board of Surgery is optional rather than mandatory.