COVID-19 UPDATE: FLS, FES and FUSE Test Takers

SAGES has made the decision to temporarily close all FLS, FES and FUSE test centers amid growing concerns over COVID-19. This decision was made after thoughtful discussion with the American Board of Surgery (ABS) and American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). 

The closure will be effective starting Friday, March 27 and continue through Thursday, April 30, 2020. All exams scheduled during this time have been cancelled. Please keep in mind that SAGES and the Fundamentals department may decide to extend test center closures beyond April 30th. Some test centers have already chosen to remain closed beyond April 30th. A list of those centers can be found at FLS/FES/FUSE Test Center Closings

Rescheduling

Test takers are able to log in to their test taker account at any time and reschedule their exam appointments for any available date AFTER April 30, 2020.

Additional Testing Opportunities

We understand that once restrictions lift, demand for test appointments will be high. We are committed to providing access to the Fundamentals Exams to all prospective test takers and will be working with our test centers to increase their availability as well as scheduling several Special Onsite Testing Events (FLS) in areas where availability may be limited. Announcements regarding these events will be posted to the FLS website as they are scheduled. www.flsprogram.org 

2020 ABS Applicants (FLS, FES)

For those test takers who still need FLS and/or FES certification for their American Board of Surgery (ABS) QE application, ABS will permit those affected by the cancellation of FLS and FES exams to apply for and take the QE without these certifications by the posted deadlines. For more information, please visit http://archive.mailengine1.com/csb/Public/show/fav9-1u74dh–p2vei-98bijss3  or email gsqe@absurgery.org.

2021 ABOG Applicants (FLS)

The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) candidates have until mid-December 2020 to complete FLS certification if they are completing their residency in the 2020-21 academic year and plan to begin the certification process and apply for the 2021 ABOG Specialty Qualifying Examination (QE). Application for certification for the Specialty QE is not tied to FLS status. Candidates can complete the application for the 2021 QE prior to completion of FLS certification.  The 2021 QE application should be available in September 2020. Residents are encouraged to apply as soon as the QE application becomes available. Residents should contact ABOG Exams at exams@abog.org with concerns about completing the FLS program by December 2020.

Voucher Expiration Dates

Test takers in possession of vouchers that are set to expire over the next several months can fill out the form(s) below to request a voucher extension allowing for the voucher to be used through December 31, 2020. All voucher extension requests submitted during this time will be granted.

FLS Voucher Extension Request Form

FES Voucher Extension Request Form

FUSE Voucher Extension Request Form

SAGES is committed to the protection and care of patients, their surgeons and staff, and all who are served by the medical community at large. For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic from the SAGES organization, please visit: https://www.sages.org/category/covid-19/

Fundamentals Division

FLS, FES, and FUSE Programs

Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons

Phone: (310) 437-0544

Fax: (310) 424-3398

11300 W Olympic Blvd, Ste 600

Los Angeles, CA  90064

www.sages.org • www.sages2020.org 

Test Center Closings Due to COVID-19

Amid growing concerns over COVID-19, many FLS, FES, and FUSE Test Centers are temporarily closing and cancelling upcoming exam appointments. We want to make you aware of the following:

  1. If your upcoming exam appointment is cancelled, you will receive an email alerting you of the cancellation. Test takers affected by test center closings will be able to log in to their test taker account and reschedule their exam appointment at any time as test centers reopen and exam appointments become available. 
  2. The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is formulating a plan for those test takers who still need FLS and/or FES certification for their QE application. Test takers with concerns over the upcoming FLS and FES certification deadlines can contact the ABS directly via email at gsqe@absurgery.org and visit their website www.absurgery.org for updates.
  3. Test takers in possession of vouchers that are set to expire over the next several months can fill out the form below to request a voucher extension. All voucher extension requests submitted during this time will be granted. 

For a list of known test center closures, please visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CgHxhIiKOxRGnxiV3RQ3VZ0NgtNga-e_0C7YDIg3hnc/edit

Simulation-based mastery learning for endoscopy using the endoscopy training system

Please click on the link below to read the full article published in Surgical Endoscopy!

Simulation-based mastery learning for endoscopy using the endoscopy training system: a strategy to improve endoscopic skills and prepare for the fundamentals of endoscopic surgery (FES) manual skills exam

Ritter, E.M., Taylor, Z.A., Wolf, K.R. et al. Surg Endosc (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-017-5697-4

Implementing the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (FEC) into Your Residency Program

For more information on the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (FEC), please click here to go to the American Board of Surgery (ABS) website.

The following program, Implementing the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (FEC) into Your Residency Program, has been made available by the Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS). It was authored by Andrew Kastenmeier, on behalf of SAGES, for a APDS Workshop held during the 2015 Surgical Education Week Conference.

The goals of the program are to help viewers:

  • understand the requirements of the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (FEC),
  • understand the options for providing didactic, simulation, and clinical assessment components of curriculum,
  • understand the mechanisms for tracking resident progress through the curriculum, and
  • understand how the FEC will evolve in the future.

http://apds.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/FEC-ABS.mp4

Residents, Program Directors: Get Ready for Endoscopy Requirement

Click here to read the latest article on FES!

 

SAGES Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) Required by American Board of Surgery

FES Elevates the Standards and Training for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Los Angeles, March 6, 2014- Five years ago, SAGES Fundamentals of Laparoscopic SurgeryTM or FLS –the nation’s first ever hands-on skills test for performing minimally invasive surgery – became a requirement for board certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS), the national certifying body for general surgeons and related specialists. FLS set the stage for FES, the Fundamentals of Endoscopic SurgeryTM, a new program created by SAGES to assess a surgeon’s skill and knowledge in endoscopy, and required today by the ABS as part of the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum.

The Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum was developed by the ABS in collaboration with SAGES and the ASCRS, ASMBS and SSAT to address concerns regarding the variability of endoscopic training obtained by general surgery residents. Surgeons graduating residency in the 2017-2018 academic year or thereafter must complete the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum to be eligible for board certification in general surgery. The curriculum contains several milestones that must be attained through the course of general surgery residency training, one of which is successful completion of FES.

“Patients undergo endoscopy for a number of conditions including Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer screening, and numerous other digestive problems,” said Dr. Gerald Fried, SAGES President and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at McGill University. Endoscopic surgery uses scopes going through natural body openings in order to diagnose and treat disease whereas small incisions are used during laparoscopic surgery.

“FES is a comprehensive educational and assessment tool designed to teach and evaluate the fundamental knowledge, clinical judgment and technical skills required in the performance of basic gastrointestinal (GI) flexible endoscopic surgery (endoscopy) and sets a validated benchmark of understanding and skill in basic endoscopy,” Dr. Fried said.

The FES program provides participants with an opportunity to gain required knowledge in a consistent, scientifically accepted format through a didactic curriculum, available without charge at www.fesdidactic.org and to test cognitive and technical skills – all with the goal of improving the quality of patient care. Over 250 accredited general surgery programs in the United States will fall under this new requirement and 18 FES testing sites are available across the United States and Canada with plans for additional sites underway.

“FLS was created as a first step toward ensuring patient safety and enhancing the innovative treatments that were becoming available in the late 1980’s,” added Dr. Jeffrey Marks, Chair of the SAGES FES Committee. “FLS has been instrumental in single-handedly revolutionizing surgical training worldwide, and requiring FES as a part of the ABS Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum is step two of this collaborative effort to elevate the standards and training for MIS.”

Since launching in 2004, nearly 8,500 surgeons have successfully completed the FLS Program which will mark its 10th anniversary this fall.

For more information about the FLS or FES programs, visit www.fesprogram.org  and www.flsprogram.org.

Please click here for official press release.

About SAGES

The mission of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is to improve quality patient care through education, research, innovation and leadership, principally in gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery. SAGES is a leading surgical society, representing a worldwide community of over 6,000 surgeons that can bring minimal access surgery, endoscopy and emerging techniques to patients worldwide. The organization sets the clinical and educational guidelines on standards of practice in various procedures, critical to enhancing patient safety and health. For more information, visit www.sages.org.

About FES

The SAGES Fundamentals of Endoscopic SurgeryTM (FES) program is a comprehensive educational and assessment tool designed to teach and evaluate the fundamental knowledge, clinical judgment and technical skills required in the performance of basic gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopic surgery (endoscopy).

About FLS

The SAGES Fundamentals of Laparoscopic SurgeryTM (FLS) is a comprehensive web-based education module that includes a hands-on skills training component and assessment tool designed to teach the physiology, fundamental knowledge, and technical skills required in basic laparoscopic surgery.