American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Statement on Certificates of Special or Added Qualifications

The American College of Surgeons wishes to make the following statement regarding certificates of special or added qualifications:

The American College of Surgeons expects that all surgeons who are certified by a surgical specialty board are qualified to practice in the areas defined by that board if they so desire and if they demonstrate the capability to do so. Certificates of special or added qualifications are designed to recognize specialists who have acquired further education and training in a narrower discipline within that specialty. The existence of such certificates does not imply that a specialist who does not hold them should be excluded from areas of practice that are considered to be within the realm of the specialty as defined by the primary board. Surgical critical care is a prime example of this issue. The granting of surgical privileges should be based upon the surgeon's record of training, experience, and demonstrated performance in the areas of practice that are associated with the specialty, rather than being focused exclusively upon the holding of a certificate of special or added qualifications.

Reprinted from Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
Vol. 77, No. 4, Page 32, April 1992