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 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  and

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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

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.