The primary purposes of the American Board of Neurological Surgery are to conduct examinations of candidates who voluntarily seek certification, and to issue Certificates to those who meet the requirements of the Board and satisfactorily complete its examinations. Certification by the ABNS is based on review and evaluation of the applicant's educational, training, and practice qualifications, as well as successful completion of written and oral examinations. In addition, the Board, along with the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery (RRC) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), works to improving the standards of training in neurosurgical residency programs throughout the United States.
ABNS operations that flow directly from these primary purposes include:
- Define requirements for training in neurological surgery
- Develop and administer the Primary Examination
- Evaluate the credentials of candidates for certification, including professional practice
- Develop and administer the oral examination
- Issue certificates
- Define the requirements for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) in neurological surgery
- Develop and administer the Cognitive Examination
- Track Diplomates' progress through MOC
A certificate, once granted, is verification of the completion of educational, peer review, and examination processes. The Board certifies as specialists in neurosurgery only those who voluntarily petition it for the purpose of evaluation and certification.
The ABNS is not concerned with the acquisition of special privileges in the practice of neurosurgery for its Diplomates. It does not define requirements for membership on the staff of any hospital, university, or clinic, nor does it attempt to designate who shall perform any neurosurgical procedure. It specifically disclaims interest in or recognition of any differential remuneration which may be based on certification. Its Certificates do not confer any legal degree of qualification, privilege, or license to practice neurosurgery. The ABNS does not intend to interfere with or limit the professional activities of any duly licensed physician whom it has not certified.