FAQs

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 exam and a hands-on skills test.

What is the FES Assessment?

The assessment consists of two parts; a 90-minute, 80 multiple-choice question test administered via computer to document cognitive knowledge, plus a hands-on skills test documenting technical and psychomotor skills. Both portions of the 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 included a requirement to ensure all ABS-certified general surgeons have completed a standard curriculum in the area of endoscopic techniques. 

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 Bronch or the GI Express, both 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.fesdidactic.org. They provide 13 modules on flexible endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract:

  • Technology
  • Patient Preparation
  • Sedation and Analgesia
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Performing Lower GI Procedures
  • Small Bowel
  • Diagnostic Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Hemostasis
  • Tissue Removal
  • Enteral Access
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound
  • Advanced Imaging

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

  • Navigation 
  • Loop Reduction
  • Retroflexion
  • Mucosal Evaluation
  • Targeting (Tool Manipulation)

How do I purchase a test voucher?
Test vouchers are available for purchase at: www.surgicalfundamentals.org

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

What is the retake policy?

In most cases, test takers only need to retake the portion(s) of the exam that were not passed (manual skills, written, or both).

  • A retest voucher must be purchased in order to retake the exam. 
  • Test takers must wait at least 30 days following the original test date before scheduling a retest. If one or both parts of the exam are still not completed successfully after the first retake, then you must wait at least six (6) months for the next retake (hopefully devoting this time to increased study and experience). After three attempts, a completely new registration process is required and both assessments must be purchased and completed anew, even if one had been passed previously. 
  • If one or both parts of the exam are not retaken successfully within 18 months of the original exam date, you must purchase a new voucher and retake both parts of the exam to obtain certification. 

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?

The manual skills assessment includes the five designated skills administered on the virtual reality simulator and lasts approximately 60 minutes. Test takers will then have a maximum of 90 minutes to complete the multiple-choice portion. 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?

We are no longer offering CME credits for the FES exam and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

What does the FES Program cost?

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

How do I request an extension on the expiration date of my FES Voucher?

Please fill out the Fundamentals Voucher Extension Request Form

How do I appeal my FES scores?

Please fill out the Fundamentals Exam Score Review Request

How do I file a complaint regarding my FES testing experience?

Please fill out the Fundamentals Test Center Grievance Form

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