Waive the 2020 American Board of Anesthesiology APPLIED Exam

Waive the 2020 American Board of Anesthesiology APPLIED Exam

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K L started this petition to Board of Directors The American Board of Anesthesiology

Hundreds of currently practicing and future anesthesiologists have had their life plans and professional plans completely upended by cancellation of the 2020 oral board certification exam due to COVID-19.  The exam is formally known as the APPLIED exam and is hosted by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).  It is the third and final step in becoming a board-certified anesthesiologist.  As it happens, board certification is very often the deciding factor in opportunities for employment, career advancement, salary, and even obtaining necessary insurance to practice.

Many dates for the 2020 exam were canceled with minimal notice, a week in some instances.  In contrast, planning and preparation for the exam often begins many months to a year ahead of time.  Exam candidates sacrifice countless hours of family time, time off from work, and personal time to prepare themselves for the APPLIED exam.  Some have put off their weddings for this exam.  Others have put off starting families or moving into their first homes.  Others still have been awaiting the exam to begin their first jobs.  All this only to have the rug pulled out from under them at the last minute and be left with no option but to repeat the entire process again in a year’s time.  Candidates are not simply losing out on a weekend of testing.  They are losing out on months of their lives.

The only proposed solution by the ABA has been to postpone this milestone event for an entire year and lump the 2020 candidates in with the 2021 candidates in the hopes of examining twice the number of individuals at the same facility and within a similar time frame.

While other specialty organizations like the American Board of Ophthalmology have been able to implement virtual exams in a timely fashion for their 2020 exam candidates (they have already done so as of July 2020), the ABA has failed to do anything similar with any urgency.  Comparable professional organizations throughout the world, such as The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, have waived their anesthesiology oral board examination for 2020 altogether and granted board certification based on previously passed written board examinations.

COVID-19 has presented the specialty of anesthesiology and the world at large with unprecedented circumstances, rippling consequences, and untold stresses.  It is time for the ABA to take unprecedented action and waive the 2020 APPLIED exam outright.  The 2020 cohort has already been tested on the frontlines and has without question earned some reprieve.

Please help us in our effort to have the ABA make this right for all the affected anesthesiologists, their spouses, their families, their co-workers and everyone else impacted by the mismanagement of the 2020 APPLIED exam.  Sign this petition in support of waiving the exam for the COVID cohort and grandfathering them in.

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