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Obstetrics and Gynecology Eligibility

Revised March 2009

To be eligible for certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology, through the Board of Certification in Surgery (BCS), the applicant must:

  1. Submit an obstetrics & gynecology application form, complete with required application-processing fee, two (2) passport-size photographs, taken within the last 90 days, and a notarized signature.
  2. Be in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the American Board of Physician Specialties, be known in his/her community as an ethical member of the profession, and be an active specialist in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
  3. Be a graduate of a recognized college of medicine, confirmed by a copy of an allopathic or osteopathic degree, or a letter of verification from the institution where the degree was earned.  In the case of foreign medical schools, an English translation of the document is also required.  Graduates of foreign medical schools must also include a copy of the ECGMG Certificate. Canadian medical schools and medical training programs are considered equivalent to U.S. medical schools and medical training programs.
  4. Hold a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States or its territories or in Canada and submit copies of all licenses. License(s) must include date of expiration.
  5. Submit current curriculum vitae which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned in chronological order.
  6. Have completed an internship of at least one (1) year, in a hospital acceptable to the BCS, or have served in a residency program, with the internship incorporated in the first year of residency.
  7. Have completed an approved ACGME, RCPSC or AOA residency-training program in obstetrics & gynecology.The ABPS now accepts all residencies accepted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). ABPS therefore now accepts all residencies approved by ACGME, AOA, or RCPSC. It should be noted that the ABPS accepts ALL medical residencies approved by the RCPSC, including approved residencies outside Canada.
  8. Submit an attestation from the Residency Training Program Director that the applicant is sufficiently trained to perform surgery.
  9. Have practiced as a specialist in this field for a period of at least one (1) year, subsequent to the completion of the required minimum of four (4) years of special training, and prior to being examined.  An applicant must provide notarized documentary evidence that they have performed a minimum of 50 major obstetrical & gynecologic operations on their own responsibility.An applicant’s scope of surgical and obstetrical practice must be such that their records will demonstrate that they have handled and is capable of handling (as shown by their morbidity, mortality, and end results) major gynecological surgical and obstetrical procedures in their respective specialty field.  An applicant whose hospital records indicate that they have never performed the usual gynecologic & obstetric cases on their own responsibility will not be eligible for admission to examination.
  10. Submit detailed case records, acceptable to the BCS Credentials Committee, of five (5) major gynecological surgical and five (5) obstetric cases, in which the candidate was the responsible surgeon and obstetrician respectively and handled the cases.  Case reports must be no older than twelve (12) months from the date the candidate’s application for certification is received by ABPS. These records shall include history, physical examination, routine and special laboratory examinations, preoperative diagnosis, detailed findings, detailed operative procedures, postoperative diagnosis, progress notes, gross and histological description and diagnosis of the excised tissue and case summary. Click Here to download Sample Case reports.
  11. Provide letters of recommendation from two (2) certified obstetrician & gynecologists, who are personally acquainted with the applicant and will vouch for their obstetric and surgical training, experience, personal character and who have personally observed the skill of the applicant.  Letters of recommendation must be current (dated no more than one year prior to the date the application is received by the ABPS) and on letterhead stationery, which includes a telephone number. Letters submitted on plain paper without an address or telephone number of the signatory are not acceptable. The sponsors shall send their letters of recommendation directly to the central office of ABPS.
  12. All U.S. physicians must do a self-Query of the national Practitioner Data Bank and submit a sealed (unopened envelope) copy of the report as part of the application process. The report need not be submitted with the application but must be provided in order for the applicant to be approved to take the written examination. For information on performing a self-query of the Bank, go to the website for information.All Canadian physicians must request and submit a testament statement from each province in which a license is held, verifying that there have been no disciplinary actions against the applicant.
  13. All physicians must allow AAPS to perform a background check, attested by initialing the appropriate line on the application form.
  14. All physicians must submit the signed candidate appeal form.
  15. Payment of appropriate fees. To view the fee schedule, click here.

To have an application considered by the BCS Credentials Committee, all application documents must be compiled in a notebook.  The BCS recommends that the applicant keep a copy of all application documents submitted to the ABPS.

Case Report Requirements

The applicant must submit four (4) separately compiled copies of ten (10) case reports in the following format (See Sample Case Reports):

  1. Case reports must be typewritten. Photocopies of typewritten case reports are acceptable.
  2. Case reports must be double-spaced on standard 8.5″ x 11″ white paper.
  3. Case reports must be in a hard, report style binder, or a three-ringed notebook.
  4. The applicant must sign each case report.
  5. An index shall be placed at the front of the reports indicating the type of case (diagnosis) and the page number on which the case can be found. To view sample index and verification form, click here.
  6. Confirmation of the validity of the reports by hospital administrator, medical records director, or whoever performs such duties at the facility. This must be on official letterhead verifying that you were the physician treating the patient in each case on the date stated. If the applicant’s cases reflect work at more than one institution, then separate letters must be submitted verifying the cases from each institution. This validation must be notarized and signed. (Refer to sample index/verification form.)
  7. Case reports shall contain the following information:
    For patient #, list the same number as the case number (Refer to sample index and verification form.)

    1. Date of admission and date of discharge
    2. Admitting diagnosis
    3. Final diagnosis
    4. Complaint
    5. History
    6. Physical and laboratory findings
    7. Summarization of the important facts regarding the case acts as the most essential part of the case report and must describe the case in such a manner as to convey to the BCS Credentials Committee the vital facts regarding the diagnosis, care, end results obtained, etc.

Case reports must be carefully prepared as they are subjected to detailed scrutiny. Reports should be accurate, well written, diversified, and properly descriptive.  The BCS Credentials Committee reserves the right to seek additional details for any case it deems necessary.

If they are not submitted in the format above, they will be returned to the applicant, resulting in an incomplete file.