Q Is certification by the Royal College of Surgeons
of Canada equivalent to ABNS certification?
A There is no reciprocity between the ABNS and the Royal College, and equivalency is difficult to equate; notwithstanding, many hospitals accept Fellowships in neurosurgery from the RCS(C). Individuals who began their neurosurgical residency training in Canada prior to July 16, 1997 and achieved an FRCS(C) are eligible for ABNS certification; however, since that date the Board has recognized only training done in programs accredited by the ACGME, which operates only in the United States.
Q Am I eligible to take the ABNS Primary Examination?
A The Primary Examination given each March is open to residents enrolled in ACGME accredited neurosurgical residency programs and to individuals who have completed that training. It is not available to interns or fellows. Applications are sent out each September.
Q Can International Medical School Graduates apply for ABNS certification?
A ABNS certification does not depend on where an individual went to medical school but on where his or her neurosurgical residency training was done. Since July 16, 1997, the ABNS has recognized only training done in ACGME accredited programs in the United States.
Q Do fellowships
lengthen the five-year timeframe for
A No, they eat into the
time. An individual doing a one-year
fellowship after completing residency
will then have four years to complete
the certification process, not five.
Q How old can practice data
A The oldest case cannot
be more than two year old at the
time of review. Try to log practice
data as you go, not retrospectively,
and once it is completed, submit
it to the Board immediately.
Q Does an applicant submit
the letters needs from program directors,
peers, and hospitals?
A No. The Board will write
to the individuals listed on the
application, as well as to other
Diplomates, so that all letters
come directly to the ABNS. It's
a good idea, however, to alert people
to the fact that they will be receiving
a request with the hope that they
will respond quickly.
Q Can I apply for certification
if I have an encumbrance on my medical
license or hospital privileges?
A Possibly since this would
be considered on a individual basis
after the pertinent information
has been gathered.
Q Does having an encumbrance
placed on my medical license affect
A Possibly. These matters
are taken seriously by the ABNS
and decided on an individual basis
after consideration of the pertinent
Q May I submit my application form before or after I submit my practice data?
A Although it is not a Rule, the Board prefers that both the application with supporting documents and the practice data be submitted at approximately the same time. Though the application may be submitted first, the practice data will not be accepted until an application has been received.
Q Once my total application has been approved by the full Board, what determines my placement in the oral examination schedule?
A Each examination is scheduled from the pool of candidates approved by the Board at its meeting held in conjunction with the previous examination. Examinees are selected from that pool based upon earliest receipt of practice data. Remember that the data will not be accepted before a completed application has been submitted to the Board office.
Q What is the stance of the ABNS on expert testimony?
A The ABNS non-binding Code of Ethics does not specifically cover expert witness testimony. Interested persons might wish to e-mail the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the largest of the neurosurgical organizations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.