Training & Initial Certification

Learn more »


Learn more »

Congenital Cardiac Surgery 

Learn More »

Maintenance of Certification

Learn More »


Learn more »


New Written Exam Dates - May 17-28
The ABTS is sensitive to the fact that some candidates may be concerned about taking the Part I (Written) Exam in December given the pandemic and possible state-imposed travel restrictions.  The ABTS will now offer a second set of dates for the Written Exam. Candidates who currently are eligible for the Written Exam have the option of taking the exam on May 17-28, 2021. This would be in lieu of taking the exam on December 7-18, 2020 dates. Candidates who are successful on the Written Exam would be eligible for the Part II (Oral) Exam, which is tentatively slated for late summer or early fall 2021.

If you are interested in changing your exam date to May 17-28 2021, you will need to first contact Ms. Patricia Watson in writing at by noon (Eastern) on Monday, November 30. After this day/time, no changes to your test date can be made.

New Leave of Absence Policy for Residents
Effective October 3, 2020, the ABTS adopted a new Leave of Absence Policy that will effect all residents in both thoracic surgery and congenital cardiac surgery residency programs.  To read more about the new Leave of Absence Policy, CLICK HERE .

2020 5-Year MOC Application
The 5-Year MOC application period has been extended until October 9, 2020. Late applications will be accepted from October 10 to October 23 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, but a late fee will be applied.

Primary and Congenital Heart Surgery Subspecialty (CHS) Written Exams Update
The ABTS is planning on administering the 2020 Primary and CHS Written Exams at Pearson Testing Centers in December. The exam window will be expanded from one-day to two-weeks from December 7 to 18, 2020. 

New Edition of SESATS Now Available: SESATS XIII (13)
Order SESATS 13 here.
The newest edition of SESATS, XIII, is now available. SESATS is a comprehensive online tool used to study and review the essential aspects of cardiac and thoracic surgery. This latest version features 400 brand new questions with instant access to the items, in-depth critiques, real-time abstracts, and linked references. Completion of this online activity permits one to claim up to 70 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits.

2020 10-Year MOC Examination
The 2020 MOC application is now available until October 30, 2020. Eligible Diplomates can login to their ABTS portal page to complete the online MOC Examination. The examination will close on October 30 at 11:59 pm EST.

2020 Oral Exams Postponed
The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and has determined that for the safety of all candidates, examiners, and Board of Directors, the Oral Exam that was tentatively scheduled for October 1617, 2020 will be postponed until further notice. The Board will provide you with the new dates once it is clear when the exam can be administered in a safe environment and when travel restrictions are eased for all participants. We regret that this decision had to be made, but we feel it was necessary for the safety for all involved. If you would like a refund, please contact the Board at and one will be issued.  

Board Office
Due to COVID-19, the American Board of Thoracic Surgery will be limiting the number of staff available. Until further notice, please be aware your call may take up to 48 hours to be returned. For a quicker response to your inquiries and/or questions, please send an email to the following email addresses: for SESATS questions:, for MOC questions for Primary Certification: or, for Congenital Subspecialty Certification questions:, for all other questions and/or inquires:
2020 Upcoming Deadlines

  • MOC 10-year Exam Results
      Mid-December 2020
    MOC 5-year Applications Due   July 1– October 9, 2020
    MOC 5-year Late Applications Due   October 10 – 23, 2020
    MOC 5-year SESATS Due (Primary Cert.)   January 15, 2021
    Certification Part I (Written) Exam   December 718, 2020
    Certification Part I (Written) Exam   May 17-28, 2021
    Certification Part II (Oral) Exam   Late Summer or Early Fall 2021 (tentative)
    Congenital Part I (Written) Exam   December 718, 2020
    Congenital Part II (Oral) Exam   To be determined