American Board of SurgeryWhat does it mean to be Board Certified by the ABS?

To be certified by the American Board of Surgery means that the surgeon has met a standard in surgery by fulfilling specified educational, evaluation and examination requirements.

Since 1976, the American Board of Surgery has issued certificates that are valid for ten years. Once certified, the surgeon who wishes to maintain certified status upon expiration of the original certificate must complete a recertification process which includes a review of credentials to determine if the surgeon has continued surgical education, is respected by peers and is active in the practice of surgery. Successful completion of a written examination completes the recertification process. Upon satisfactory completion of the recertification process, the surgeon’s certification is extended for another ten years.

The ABS also awards certification in Pediatric Surgery, Surgery of the Hand, Surgical Critical Care and Vascular Surgery. Certification in these areas requires at least one additional year of education, endorsement by the program director, peer review, and an examination process similar to initial certification. These certificates are also valid for ten years and require a recertification process.

Surgical Critical Care, Pediatric Surgery and Vascular Surgery are included in a surgeon’s initial educational program and many surgeons have specialized in these areas without additional education.

Your Surgeon is Certified by the American Board of Surgery:
The surgeon who has attained Certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) has specialized knowledge and experience relating to the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, postoperative and nonoperative management of surgical problems in the following essential content areas:

  • Alimentary tract: esophagus, stomach, small bowel, large bowel

  • Abdomen and its contents: diaphragm, biliary tract, liver, pancreas, spleen

  • Breast, skin and soft tissue: benign and malignant disease

  • Head and neck surgery: including trauma, vascular, congenital and cancerous disorders

  • Vascular surgery: arteries and veins, excluding the vessels in the brain, heart and lungs

  • Endocrine surgery: thyroid and parathyroid glands, the pancreas and adrenal glands

  • Surgical oncology: including coordinated management of the cancer patient

  • Comprehensive management of trauma: the responsibility for all phases of care of the injured patient including burns

  • Complete care of critically ill patients: with underlying surgical conditions

  • Pediatric surgery

  • Transplantation surgery

The surgeon also has knowledge of plastic surgery and general thoracic surgery. The surgeon is also capable of employing various endoscopic techniques (viewing or performing operations through tubes with lighted ends).

What is the American Board of Surgery?
The American Board of Surgery was founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying those found to successfully meet specific educational requirements and to complete an examination process. A major reason for establishing the Board was to identify surgeons who have met a certain standard of excellence. The ABS is an independent, nonprofit organization with worldwide recognition. It is one of the twentyfour certifying boards that are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The Directors of the American Board of Surgery are distinguished surgeons in education, research, and practice in the United States.

What is Board Certification?
The Board Certification process includes the following components:

1. Educational:

  • Must have graduated from an accredited medical school.

  • Must have satisfactorily completed five years of graduate surgical education in an accredited surgery residency program in the United States or Canada. During this period the surgeon must have experience in the management of a broad spectrum of patients with surgical problems including operative experience of such breadth and depth deemed adequate by the Board.

2. Review of Credentials:

  • Upon satisfactory completion of their graduate education, surgeons may apply for Certification if they wish. Upon satisfying all of the Board’s requirements they are admitted to examination.

3. Examinations:

  • Applicants for Certification must first pass a daylong written Qualifying examination as a means of assessing their knowledge base. After successful completion of the Qualifying examination, Candidates for Certification are admissible to the oral Certifying examination. During this examination Candidates are interviewed by three teams of prominent surgeons who evaluate the Candidates’ capability to manage ordinary and complex surgical problems and determine if the Candidates should be granted certification.


Dr. Gurbuz successfully completed his specialty of general surgery training in 1996 and qualified to receive ABS (American Board of Surgery) certificate in 1997.