This program is designed to prepare nascent surgeons for the Virtual
ABS Certifying Examination.
We attempt to help each participant understand his/her strengths and weaknesses in the following areas:
  • Knowledge Base


  • Professional Image


  • Verbal & Non-verbal Communication Skills


An intense program with a high faculty/student ratio provides practical guidance for immediate achievement in each of these competencies. Our feedback from past participants has been outstanding and those who have followed our debriefing plans have enjoyed subsequent success on the ABS Surgery Certifying Examination.  We have presented our results at national surgery meetings and published our results in peer reviewed surgery journals.


Approximately one month before the course, participants will receive a detailed schedule, several pre-course assignments, and a communication skills inventory.




Throughout the course, participants will receive educational materials, including strategies for improved performance on the Virtual ABS Certifying Examination, and a personal digital recording of their formal mock oral examinations for review and self-critique.  Each participant will receive a follow-up letter within a month of the course as part of their process improvement plan. This letter will summarize the items discussed in the faculty review of their performance.


Participants will engage in multiple opportunities to build relationships with others enrolled in the course with the goal of maintaining these relationships during post-course preparation for the ABS Virtual Certifying Examination.


Strategies for effectively managing stress and exam anxiety will also be available to participants.


Course components include, but are not limited to the following:




Behavioral Analysis


Didactics: Behaviors that Affect Outcomes


Round Table Faculty-Participant Lunches


Didactics:  Review of the ABS Process


Small Group Mock Orals for Performance Enhancement


Mini Mock Orals in Larger Group


Small Group Research Activities


Small Study Groups for Motivational Stimulation


Immersive Simulation for the ABS Certifying Examination


Digital Video of Formal Mock Oral


Individual Debriefing for Performance Improvement

Virtual CE Examinations

The 2022 and 2023 offerings of The Surgery Certifying Examination (CE) Course are partnering with a ZOOM-type platform to provide an interactive format for participants and our national faculty to simulate the ABS Certifying Examination.  This virtual process will still honor the value of individual 1:1 and small group analysis.  The 1:1 pre-course interviews with Dr. Rowland will begin via ZOOM approximately 1 month prior to the course.  Virtual support options will continue throughout the CE process for each participant.