FAQs about the Surgery Recertification Exam

surgery recertification faqs

Here are some common questions that we are asked about the Surgery MOC Exam:

How much does the exam cost?

The general surgery MOC examination costs $400. Late fees may apply for candidates who enroll after the application deadline.

When can I take the exam?

The general surgery MOC exam is offered once a year over a two-week window. Candidates are eligible to take the exam starting three years before their certificate expires.

What if my certificate has expired?

Candidates with expired certificate are eligible to apply for an MOC recertification exam, provided their certificate is not currently revoked. Candidates with a lapsed certificate must meet all current eligibility requirements and pay a one-time fee of $500 when applying for the MOC exam.

How many questions are there?

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions designed to assess a surgeon’s knowledge and clinical judgement.

What is the exam format?

The exam is multiple choice, with just one best answer to each question. Other answers may be partially correct, therefore candidates are advised to read every option carefully before selecting the best answer.

What does the exam cover?

The content of the exam is as follows:

  • Head and Neck: 2%
  • Breast: 6%
  • Alimentary Tract 20%
  • Abdomen 15%
  • Vascular System 7%
  • Endocrine 2%
  • Trauma 13%
  • Perioperative Care 20%
  • Surgical Critical Care 6%
  • Surgery Problems in Related Specialties 6%
  • Oncology 1%
  • Skin/Soft Tissue 1%
  • Legal/Ethics 1%

How should I prepare for the exam?

The American Board of Surgery suggests reading textbooks in an “active” manner, asking yourself questions after reading each section to be sure that you understand the content. We recommend the Sabiston textbook Surgery Board Review book. We also recommend go directly to MCQ questions, such as the BoardVitals MOC surgery question bank The ABS also encourages candidates to read through practice questions online, specifically those prepared by the American College of Surgeons through the ACS Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program.

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