Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Program Goals

The American Society of Breast Surgeons’ goal in establishing certification is to improve the quality of care for patients with breast disease by encouraging education and training for surgeons who perform stereotactic breast procedures.

Additional Resources

Informational courses/workshops to help applicants prepare for the examination and application process are held in conjunction with the Society’s annual meeting.

Stereotactic Breast Procedure Certification

The Stereotactic Breast Procedures Certification program is based on the principles for the proper performance of stereotactic breast procedures as outlined in the Society’s Performance and Practice Guidelines for Stereotactic Breast Procedures.


There are three components to the stereotactic certification process:

  • A clinical application
  • A written exam
  • A practical exam

The practical exam may only be taken after an applicant successfully passes both the clinical application and the written exam components. Provisional certification will be granted upon completion of these steps and will be valid for one year. During that year the applicant will be expected to register, take and pass the practical examination. If at the end of one year the applicant has not made arrangements to be tested the provisional certification will expire. The examinations and submission of the clinical application must occur within the same 12-month period.


The Society has established the following minimum prerequisites for surgeons who may choose to undertake certification for stereotactic breast procedures:

  • Must have attained board certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) or American Osteopathic Board of Surgery (AOBS), or evidence of international equivalent, upon completion of training. Current recertification is not a requirement. OB/GYNs not certified by the ABS or AOBS must have completed a fellowship recognized by the Society, SSO, and ASBD.
  • Must document an appropriate level of training and a minimum of 1-year experience in the performance of stereotactic breast procedures.
  • Must document performance of no fewer than 12 stereotactic breast procedures per year and evaluation* of a minimum of 480 mammography exams in the last 2 years.
  • All applicants must have a minimum of 4 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 CME in medical radiation physics or can attest to the review of Radiation Physics and Safety by Howard Snider, MD, included with the application.
    In addition,
    A. Applicants with less than 5 years experience must have a minimum of 15 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 CME in breast imaging, including a minimum of 7 hours in stereotactic breast procedures during the last 5 years.
    B. Applicants with 5 or more years experience must have a minimum of 5 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 CME in breast imaging or breast intervention during the last 5 years.

*Evaluation means review of the mammographic films in direct consultation with an MQSA-qualified physician and/or independent review of mammograms with the authenticated mammographic report.


Clinical Application

To request a clinical application by email, mail or fax, download and complete the  Clinical Application Order Form and submit it with a $50 nonrefundable document fee. Check or credit card payment is accepted. An application on computer disk will be mailed to you.

Written and Practical Examinations

  • One or more testing sessions (written and practical) are offered at the Society’s annual meeting. Register for the exam using the on-line meeting registration form. You may also fax or mail this form. Additional group testing sessions may be scheduled in conjunction with other educational events or meetings (e.g., ACS Clinical Congress). Watch the Society website for announcements. Applicants should pre-register for a testing session by contacting the Society office.
  • The written exam may also be taken individually by appointment at the Society's office in Columbia, Maryland.
  • Details about the written exam and sample questions are available here.


  • A $50 document fee must submitted when requesting the Clinical Application
  • A $500 review fee is due when submitting the completed Clinical Application.
  • A $100 fee is required to sit for the written exam.
  • A $100 fee is required to take the practical exam.

Stereotactic Breast Procedures Certification Examination Information