September 20, 2022
Editor’s note: The 14 ACS Advisory Councils, which serve as liaisons in the communication of information to and from surgical societies and the Regents, periodically submit articles on the notable initiatives taking place in their respective specialties. This week’s issue features a submission from the Advisory Council for Urology.
Since 1985, all American Board of Urology (ABU) diplomates that have been certified in urology maintain a time-limited certificate. Diplomates automatically enter Lifelong Learning, currently a 10-year cycle for continued certification. However, the American Board of Medical Specialties recently developed new standards requiring that all member boards develop a formative program for continued certification that results in a summative decision regarding a diplomate status at least every 5 years. In addition, the ABU recognized that diplomates are exposed to a considerable burden as they prepare for and take the current 10-year knowledge assessment exam, which is only offered in a secure environment. These factors, along with technological advances, influenced the ABU to evolve Lifelong Learning into Continuing Urologic Certification (CUC), a program that captures many of the positive attributes utilized by other surgical boards.
CUC contains all the current ABU activities required in Lifelong Learning, spacing the activities over time to decrease the burden of “last-minute” completion. Most significantly, the 10-year Knowledge Assessment Exam, undertaken in a secure environment, has transitioned to a three-phase formative educational process repeated every 5 years.
Three distinct elements comprise the CUC:
Ultimately, the ABU makes a summative decision regarding continuing certification based on completing all activities within CUC including any needed CME, peer review, submitting complication and mortality narratives, and evaluation of a practice log.
The CUC pilot is now in its second year, and the ABU has received a positive endorsement of the CUC pilot from participating diplomates. The Board is using diplomates’ constructive comments to refine and evolve Lifelong Learning.
In-depth information regarding the ABU CUC can be found at Continuing Urologic Certification (CUC).