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ABS Seeks Qualified Applicants for Vice President Position

Sept. 08, 2023 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is seeking a dynamic individual to fill the role of vice president (VP). As a key member of the ABS leadership team, the VP will contribute to shaping the future of surgical education and practice. This position is a full-time senior-level administrative post that offers the flexibility of a hybrid or fully remote work arrangement. The successful candidate will not be required to move to Philadelphia but will be expected to visit to attend meetings as requested as well as travel to other locations on board business. Reporting directly to the chief executive officer (CEO), the VP will lead pivotal initiatives and collaborate with diverse stakeholders to uphold the ABS's mission and objectives.

In this critical role, the VP will take primary responsibility for overseeing staff and volunteer leadership of the ABS specialty boards, including the General Surgery Board (GSB), Vascular Surgery Board (VSB), Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care Board (TBSCCB), Complex General Surgical Oncology Board (CGSOB), and Pediatric Surgery Board (PSB). Additionally, the VP will spearhead the ongoing implementation and assessment of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) across all ABS specialties. Maintaining a clinical practice in the range of .1 FTE is desirable but not mandatory. The VP's travel commitment will encompass approximately 25-30 days per year attending ABS board, council, and specialty board meetings as well as giving grand rounds and other presentations or representing the ABS with our partner organizations and stakeholders.

As a senior-level administrator, the VP will work closely with ABS staff, the specialty boards, the ABS board, council, council committees, and stakeholders. The VP will serve as a stand-in for the CEO in significant roles in the surgical education community and will collaborate with partner societies and organizations as directed by the CEO.

General Charges and Responsibilities

Provide insight and thought leadership regarding the ABS in the surgical community

The VP will provide valuable insights into the ABS's evolving role in surgical education, spanning both training and post-training phases, across the surgical specialties. They will contribute to how the ABS can address the distinct needs of program directors, faculty, trainees, and diplomates.

Representative engagement

The VP will represent the ABS and attend meetings of the RRC, ACGME, and program directors, as well as meetings of other organizations as requested or appointed by the CEO, to advocate for the interests of the ABS.

Collaborative administrative involvement

The VP will collaborate closely with the CEO and other executive leadership in general administrative functions of the ABS office.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion advancement

The Vice President will partner closely with the chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer to advance representation of URIM individuals across all levels of the organization, as well as to forward the goal of making the ABS an anti-racist institution.

Specialty Boards

The specialty boards are elected groups of volunteers who are responsible for the work of exam development, standard setting, society relationships, and ultimately both initial and continuous certification of surgeons who are trained in their specialties.

The VP will work closely with specialty boards and the Council, including overseeing stakeholder relationships; exam development; recruitment, training and retention of examiners, item writers, and consultants; and consistency across the ABS brand. In addition, this position will maintain a leadership role within the ABS concerning partner societies and organizations.

Entrustable Professional Activities

The ABS is currently working on a multi-year project to incorporate Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) into surgical training. This project, in its early phases, involves extensive volunteer efforts across committees and specialties within the ABS.

The Vice President's role includes overseeing, directing, and strategizing EPA activities. This involves coordinating committees, recognizing volunteers, communicating with stakeholders, and handling business development and finances. Administratively, the VP will oversee aspects such as employee performance reviews and HR functions related to EPA personnel.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Oversee and manage new or evolving initiatives as well as ad hoc task forces and working groups as requested by the CEO. At this time, we have initiatives regarding quality and outcomes along with ensuring equitable access to care at the diplomate level. We are also working on the development of three focused practice designations, all of which are housed in the GSB with participation by the CGSOB.
  • In consultation with the chief operations officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO), the VP will draft an annual budget and oversee fiscal management of EPA matters.
  • Serve as the main liaison between the EPA project and its vendors, managing contract negotiations and vendor relationships.
  • Routinely attend meetings of the specialty boards, the council and council committees, and the board of directors.
  • Share in the management of correspondence, phone calls, and administrative issues within the ABS office.
  • Take a leadership role in conjunction with the psychometric staff, specialty boards, research committee, and other stakeholders to analyze, improve, and validate testing methods to better define competence in practice.
  • Provide executive-level support for certifying examinations as requested by the CEO, to include in any case a few times each year.
  • Develop programming for strategic or educational retreats as requested by the CEO.
  • Attend office meetings virtually, including regular executive staff meetings.


The successful candidate will have skill in change management and the ability to listen and learn, to attain consensus, and to manage resistance without becoming resistant. They must have some experience in managing staff, guiding them to excel in their roles and facilitating their professional development. They must be able to share or give credit for work done.

The ABS VP must be able to represent the ABS across a wide variety of constituencies with grace and eloquence and must be attentive to the workings of the organization to step into a variety of roles according to the needs of the organization.

Successful candidates for this position will possess many, if not all, of the following characteristics:

  • Must possess an MD degree or equivalent
  • Must be certified by the ABS, actively participate in Continuous Certification, or transition to Continuous Certification upon hire
  • Have national recognition as a leader in surgery, surgical education or assessment (highly desirable)
  • Experience in senior leadership at a hospital, university, medical school, or related environment is expected
  • Prior experience as a volunteer within the ABS is desirable but not required
  • The Vice President is encouraged but not required to remain clinically active to some degree

Applications, Inquiries and Nominations

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search. Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

About the ABS
  • The American Board of Surgery is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Surgeons certified by the ABS have completed at least five years of surgical training following medical school and successfully completed a written and oral examination process administered by the ABS. They must then maintain their board certification through ongoing learning and practice improvement activities.
  • The ABS offers board certification in general surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, complex general surgical oncology, surgery of the hand, and hospice and palliative medicine. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.