Online Registration submission requirements:  

  • Finalized registration form with online credit card payment 
  • All State/Province medical license(s) that indicate a valid expiration date
  • Appointment/Reappointment letters verifying hospital privileges in plastic surgery/hand surgery at each hospital
  • All certificates or currently-dated documentation verifying the accreditation of all non-hospital surgical facilities.
    • List all outpatient facilities. Certificates are not required for hospital-based surgical centers accredited by the Joint Commission but the facility must be identified on the application.
  • Valid photo ID (driver’s license or current passport)

Upon review and approval of all required Registration Material, you will be emailed instructions on how to download your Hand Surgery Examination Registration Confirmation Letter and to access the tutorial for the new testing platform.


Beginning in 2018, the Hand Surgery Examination for Recertification is now administered in an Internet-Based testing format, rather than a Computer-Based Test which traditionally involved traveling to a testing center. The Exam can be taken on any computer with internet connection and is no longer limited to one day with a four hour window.


The Hand Surgery Exam will now incorporate additional content relevant to each question. After answering a question, the diplomate will be directed to the supporting rationale. After reading the rationale, the diplomate will be offered an additional opportunity to answer the question if incorrectly answered on the first attempt. Scoring for the exam is based on the final response. This change dramatically reduces the amount of study time required ahead of testing.


The examination consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Starting in 2019, the HSE for Recertification will be the same exam form as the Hand Module for the Continuous Certification program. Each examination contains a Core module with 50 questions on the core topics of plastic surgery practice. The remaining 150 questions will emphasize Hand Surgery.


Under the new format, the Board has incorporated the study material into the examination itself. However, based on diplomate feedback, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand has made a study guide available for purchase which is an excellent resource to prepare for the examination.


The Hand Surgery Recertification Examination may be used to renew primary certification and to continue in the Continuous Certification Program.  

Both primary plastic surgery and hand certification will be renewed with successful completion of the Hand Recertification Examination.

  • The Hand Recertification Examination must be completed within the current 10 year Cycle.
  • Registration form is required for the HSE process only. 
  • Expiration of the primary plastic surgery certificate automatically causes expiration of the Hand subspecialty certificate.



2023 HSE Booklet of Information for Recertification

2023 HSE Registration Cover Letter - Recertification