Diplomates holding a valid certificate from the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) and who expect to be clinically inactive (not involved in patient care, either directly or in a supervisory capacity) for a year or more may apply for inactive status. Application must be made, in writing, to the Board office, and approved, in writing, in advance of granting inactive status. Activities calling for such status might include, but not be limited to, academic sabbaticals, advanced studies, elected/appointed political office, temporary disability from illness/injury, or appointment to administrative or research positions in hospitals, medical schools or health related industries.
There is no limit to the length of time that a Diplomate can remain on inactive status, but, by applying for inactive status, the Diplomate certifies that he/she will refrain from the clinical practice of thoracic surgery for the entire duration of the inactive status. The names of inactive Diplomates will appear in the ABMS Directory of Medical Specialists and on the ABTS web site as “Certified, inactive”. Responses of the Board to inquiries about such Diplomates will indicate their “Certified, inactive” status.
In order to maintain their “Certified, inactive” status, such Diplomates are required to participate in all portions of the Board’s Maintenance of Certification program except Part IV (evaluation of performance in practice).
Individuals with inactive certificates wishing to resume clinical thoracic surgery and reactivate their certificate must make written application to the Board. Prior to reactivation the Board will consider the length of time that the Diplomate was inactive, the type of disability (if applicable), the types of activities in which the Diplomate has been involved and other factors. Before reactivating his/her certificate, the Board may require that the Diplomate acquire additional education and/or supervised practice and possibly repeat all of part of the original certification process.