Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Focused Practice Designation

  • ABS is now offering a Focused Practice Designation (FPD) in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (MBS). FPD is a new designation of ABMS member boards that recognizes those diplomates who have focused their practice on one particular aspect of a given field of medicine or surgery. MBS is an example of the development of focused practice within the specialty of general surgery. Most surgeons performing MBS are general surgeons who have focused a significant portion of their time in the practice of bariatric surgery and develop the infrastructure to support a comprehensive MBS program. Therefore, MBS is truly a variation of general surgery rather than a subspecialty of surgery.
  • ABS has worked in conjunction with the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) to define the standards of practice, participation, and knowledge that are required to be identified as a surgeon who focuses their practice on MBS. The MBS FPD can be achieved through a combination of fellowship training and/or clinical practice that is dedicated to treatment of the obese patient population.
  • Successful completion of the MBS FPD exam is required for an FPD in MBS. Eligible candidates are diplomates who hold a general surgery certification from the ABS and are primarily engaged in the practice of MBS.
  • The purpose of the MBS FPD is to provide transparent information to those patients with obesity who seek to undergo bariatric surgery or bariatric endoscopy for the treatment of obesity and metabolic diseases, by recognizing surgeons who have additional surgical expertise and dedicate a significant percentage of their practice to the comprehensive care of these patients including primary and revisional bariatric surgery, management of bariatric complications and endoscopy.
  • The ABS wishes to acknowledge the leadership of the ASMBS in applying for and developing this designation.
Next Exam: April 1-6, 2024
Application Deadline: February 29

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Focused Practice Designation Exam

  • The exam consists of about 150 multiple-choice questions designed to evaluate a surgeon's knowledge of metabolic and bariatric surgery principles and applied science.
  • This is a one-day exam lasting approximately 4.5 hours and is held at computer-testing facilities across the U.S. The exam is administered in two 120-minute sessions, with an optional 10-minute break after the first session. Once a session has concluded, you will not be able to revisit those questions.
  • Results are posted approximately 4-8 weeks after the exam; you will be notified by email when they are available. The exam's contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or disclosed in any manner.
See here for the MPS FPD exam content outline (pdf).

General Requirements

To be eligible for this exam, applicants must:

  • Certification/Continuous Certification: Be currently certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery and in compliance with the ABS Continuous Certification Program.
  • Training: Must have completed three years of clinical experience in MBS, which may include experience gained during fellowship training.
  • MBS Experience: Attest to your current privileges and clinical activity in MBS, with a minimum of three years of clinical practice experience with a focus in MBS (diplomates who have completed 12 months in an MBS fellowship training program may count the length of their fellowship program towards the focused practice requirement). Diplomates must also attest to:
    - 100 lifetime stapling cases (75 may come from an accredited fellowship and at least 25 stapling cases must occur after fellowship)
    *50 of the 100 lifetime stapling procedures must be anastomotic, or must include an anastomosis
    - Perform an average of 25 MBSAQIP approved stapling cases annually, averaged over the previous three years
  • Medical License: Have a currently registered full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants are required to immediately inform the ABS of any conditions or restrictions in force on any active medical license they hold.
  • Professional Activity: Be actively engaged in the practice of MBS as indicated by holding full surgical privileges in this discipline at a Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) -accredited center. Additionally, eligible candidates must be actively participating in the MBSAQIP registry.
  • Be capable of performing independently the entire scope of the MBS practice without accommodation or with reasonable accommodation.
  • Adhere to the ABS Ethics and Professionalism Policy.

Diplomates who are MBSAQIP directors or MBS-verified surgeons will have an expedited application process, and will not have to submit information regarding their training or MBS experience.

How to Apply

If you meet the requirements for this designation as defined above, you may access the application through the Online Applications page in your ABS portal.

As part of the application review process, ABS will verify that you hold privileges at an MBSAQIP-accredited center.

Items Required
  1. Once you access the online application form, complete and submit this form through your ABS portal.
  2. Submit the application fee online (credit card only).

The steps above must be completed by the deadline to be considered for this year's examination in MBS to be administered at Pearson VUE centers.

Following approval of your application, you may move to the registration section to complete registration, submit payment for the examination (credit card only), and schedule a testing center location.

Maintaining Designation

  • All diplomates with an MBS FPD must actively maintain their general surgery certification through participation in the ABS Continuous Certification Program, including completion of the General Surgery Continuous Certification Assessment every other year. Additional requirements directly related to maintenance of the FPD will apply, with additional information on this process forthcoming.

For any questions, please contact our FPD coordinator.