Surgeons On Hold

Check this out. What you will see is a major mea culpa from the American Board of Surgery. In July of 2020, the Board understandably attempted to move its qualifying exam for new surgeons who were “board eligible” from a live testing center to a virtual platform. “Attempted’ turns out to be the key word there. They were unable to bring it off. “Security” concerns brought the whole thing to its knees, and the test was cancelled.  

The result, 1,000 newly minted general surgeons get put on hold in terms of their Board certification. Doctors who, in the midst of a pandemic, had spent countless hours studying for the exam that wasn’t.  

And here’s the worst part. The ABS can’t figure out what to do next, beyond the mea culpa and issuing refunds, to get the “QE”  actually conducted. They are receiving suggestions from applicants, and “will review and consider” every one.

Bottom Line. As Lieutenant Columbo was fond of saying, “There’s just one more thing.” It would appear that in addition to getting short sheeted on the examination, these 1,000 doctors might also have had some personal information stolen from the registration website.  

At the end of the day, I am left wondering how many other debacles like this have resulted across the U.S. as everyone, with good intentions, tries to scramble from personal to virtual! If this mess can happen to the ABS, it can happen to anybody.  

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