FAQ’s

What is FES?

The Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery™ (FES) program is a test of knowledge and skills in flexible gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. FES is the flexible endoscopy equivalent of the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery™ (FLS) program. FES is meant to set a validated benchmark of understanding and skill in basic GI endoscopy.

Who developed the FES program?

The FES Committee, consisting of members of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), has developed the FES program – involving general surgeons, colorectal surgeons, and gastroenterologists in the validation process. SAGES has also partnered with industry to develop the FES hands-on skills test using a computer simulation platform.

What does the FES program encompass?

There are two components to FES: web-based didactic materials and a two-part assessment made up of a multiple-choice cognitive exam and a hands-on skills test.

What is the FES Assessment?

The assessment component is a 90-minute, 80 multiple-choice question exam administered via computer to document cognitive knowledge, plus a hands-on skills test documenting technical and psychomotor skills. Both the cognitive and skills assessment are taken during the same testing appointment, in the presence of an authorized FES Test Proctor.

What is the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (FEC) and how does FES fit into it?

The American Board of Surgery (ABS), has recently announced a new requirement to ensure all ABS-certified general surgeons have completed a standard curriculum in the area of endoscopic techniques. This new requirement will apply to applicants for board certification in general surgery who complete their residency training in the 2017-2018 academic year or thereafter.

During their general surgery residency, applicants will be required to have completed the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum, available from the ABS website at www.absurgery.org

The FEC is designed to provide general surgery residency programs with a milestone-based program for the teaching of endoscopic procedures over the five years of residency. One of the final milestones in the curriculum is successful completion of the FES program. Residents will be required to provide evidence of FES certification when applying for ABS certification.

What computer simulation platform is used for the hands-on skills?

The FES hands-on skills test is administered using the GI Mentor II, the GI Bronch Mentor or the GI Mentor Express, all proprietary pieces of hardware developed by 3D Systems – Simbionix. To learn more about these simulators, please contact your 3D Systems – Simbionix representative. SAGES does not endorse any specific manufacturer or product in developing any of its training protocols.

How should I train for the manual skills portion of the FES exam?

At this time, there are no officially endorsed training curricula to prepare for the FES manual skills exam. As the FES program matures, we anticipate that such programs will be made available with proficiency measures and data to predict success on the FES hands-on test. Above all, there is no substitute for actual hands-on experience performing flexible endoscopy in a controlled clinical setting.

What will I learn from the FES didactic materials?

The FES didactics are available to everyone, free-of-charge, at www.fundamentals-didactics.com. They provide 12 modules of basic information on flexible endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract:

  • Technology
  • Patient Preparation
  • Sedation and Analgesia
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Performing Lower GI Procedures
  • Lower GI Anatomy, Pathology, and Complications
  • Didactic ERCP
  • Hemostasis
  • Tissue Removal
  • Enteral Access
  • Endoscopic Therapies

What skills are tested in the manual skills portion of the exam?

  • Navigation (Tip Deflection/ Torque)
  • Loop Reduction
  • Retroflexion
  • Muscosal Evaluation
  • Targeting (Tool Manipulation)

If I participated in the Beta Exam, will I have to take the test again?

Yes. You will be required to take both the 80-question multiple-choice exam and the hands-on skills test to become FES certified. We have attempted to contact all beta text participants via both US Mail and email. If you have not heard from us, please provide us with your updated contact information and we will send you the details right away!

For more information please click here.

What is a testing voucher?

A testing voucher is the “admittance ticket” needed in order to take the FES exam. Each voucher has a unique identification number and can be redeemed one time only. If the FES test is not successfully completed, a “re-test” voucher may be purchased at a lesser price.
Test vouchers are available for purchase at: www.surgicalfundamentals.org

Detailed instructions on how to use this new purchasing system can be found at:
http://www.fesprogram.org/testing-information/products/

What is the retake policy?

If you fail one or both parts of the assessment, you must retake ONLY the failed portion(s) in order to receive a FES Certificate. Prior to scheduling a retake, any participant who failed one or both parts of the assessment must pay a test re-take fee in the amount of $125 to the SAGES FES office. If you pass the assessment you are not allowed to retest simply to attempt a higher passing score.

Please note the waiting periods below:

  • 1st Retest – 30 day waiting period, from initial test date, before you are eligible to retest
  • 2nd Retest – 6 month waiting period, from previous test date, before you are eligible to retest
  • 3rd Retest – 6 month waiting period, from previous test date, before you are eligible to retest
  • 4th Retest – If you have attempted to pass the exam on 4 separate occasions, a new registration process and payment is required and both parts of the assessment must be taken anew even if one had been passed previously. This fee will not be covered by any grant offered through SAGES and payment must be made prior to scheduling your test appointment.

Who is eligible to take the FES Exam?

While anyone is eligible to review the online materials curriculum, FES certification is limited to medical and surgical residents, fellows, and practicing general surgeons, gastroenterologists, and other physicians.

How much time will it take to complete the FES Exam?

You will have 90 minutes to complete the cognitive assessment that contains 80 multiple-choice questions. The manual skills assessment includes the five designated skills administered on the virtual reality simulator and lasts approximately 60 minutes. Both are given in the same test appointment and administered by a trained FES proctor.

Where can I take the FES exam?

Testing is available at regional test centers throughout North America, as well as at the SAGES Annual Meeting and ACS Clinical Congress. For a current list of active test centers please click here.

Can I receive CME credits?

The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  FES is accredited for a maximum of 9 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM, which are also designated as self-assessment CME credit, applicable to Part 2 of the American Board of Surgery (ABS) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.  CME credit will be awarded to those who successfully complete both parts the FES exam.

What does the FES Program cost?

Our current product list and pricing is available at www.fesprogram.org/testing-information/products/

How can I learn more about the FES Program?

Please contact Jessica Mischna in the SAGES office at 310.437.0544, ext. 139.