This study states that The Vascular Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery (VSB-ABS) Qualifying and Certifying examinations are meant to assess qualifications to independently practice vascular surgery, but it is unclear whether examination performance correlates with clinical outcomes. We assessed this relationship using clinical outcomes data for VSB-ABS diplomates from the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS-VQI). VSB-ABS examination performance for vascular surgeons participating in the SVS-VQI registry was characterized according to pass/fail status. Surgical experience was measured by number of years since completion of training. Examination performance and experience were compared with a composite clinical outcome (in-patient major adverse cardiac events or postoperative death [MACE+POD]) after arterial reconstructions (carotid stenting or endarterectomy, aortic aneurysm repair, open peripheral surgical bypasses) registered in the SVS-VQI. Multivariate mixed effects regression was performed adjusting for sex and surgery type, as well as clustering by surgeon and by hospital. VSB-ABS examination performance by SVS-VQI surgeons does not correlate with registry-reported mortality or cardiovascular complications. Increasing surgical experience is strongly associated with lower odds of cardiovascular morbidity and death.

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