Assessment of Training Progress and Examinations
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Board certification and accreditation of training programs began as measures of quality in the United States. Both functions were done initially by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS). In 1954, certification of trainees and accreditation of programs became separate functions in order to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
Currently, the ABNS certifies trainees who have completed neurological surgery training in an accredited program whose curriculum includes operative and nonoperative experience, have the endorsement of the training program director, and have passed the written in-training examinations and a final oral examination. Accreditation of training programs is a separate function administered by the Residency Review Committee (RRC) of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Individual programs are reviewed on a periodic basis for quality of the curriculum, facilities, faculty, and patient volume. The ABNS and the RRC are separate groups, both comprised of neurosurgeons with a strong commitment to the educational process.
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