Surgical coaching to achieve the ABMS vision for the future of continuing board certification

Jason C. Pradarelli, Sudha R. Pavuluri Quamme, Andrew Yee, Adrienne E. Faerber, Janet C. Dombrowski, Cara King, Caprice C. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In February 2019, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) released the final report of the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future initiative, issuing strong recommendations to replace ineffective, traditional mechanisms for physicians’ maintenance of certification with meaningful strategies that strengthen professional self-regulation and simultaneously engender public trust. The Vision report charges ABMS Member Boards, including the American Board of Surgery (ABS), to develop and implement a more formative, less summative approach to continuing certification. To realize the ABMS's Vision in surgery, new programs must support the assessment of surgeons’ performance in practice, identification of individualized performance gaps, tailored goals to address those gaps, and execution of personalized action plans with accountability and longitudinal support. Peer surgical coaching, especially when paired with video-based assessment, provides a structured approach that can meet this need. Surgical coaching was one of the approaches to continuing professional development that was discussed at an ABS-sponsored retreat in January 2020; this commentary review provides an overview of that discussion. The professional surgical societies, in partnership with the ABS, are uniquely positioned to implement surgical coaching programs to support the continuing certification of their membership. In this article, we provide historical context for board certification in surgery, interpret how the ABMS's Vision applies to surgical performance, and highlight recent developments in video-based assessment and peer surgical coaching. We propose surgical coaching as a foundational strategy for accomplishing the ABMS's Vision for continuing board certification in surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Patient safety
  • Professional development
  • Surgical coaching
  • Video-based assessment
  • continuing board certification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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