EBSQ Examinations

Breast Surgery EBSQ Examinations

Next EBSQ Examination

DateTypePlaceApplication deadline
27.11.2021 – 28.11.2021
OralOnline15.09.2021

The oral examination is the 2nd phase of the EBSQ Examination in Breast Surgery.

The next EBSQ Examination (Part 1 and Part 2) will happen in 2022. Exact dates and venue are not determined yet.

COVID Impacts

After the cancellation of the exam in 2020, we are committed to running the UEMS Breast Examination in 2021.
The COVID pandemic is still with us and causing disruption and personal and family tragedy for many people globally. However there is light at the end of the tunnel: vaccination programs have started in many countries and whilst this will take time to have an impact, we can see that safe global travel may well be possible by the middle of 2021.

For the oral exam, unfortunately due to the current situation, oral examinations will be held online.

Once again we will need to monitor the exam by use of the camera on your mobile smart phone or lap top and will require a local trusted invigilator.
For these virtual candidates, the 3 viva exams, (2 clinical and 1 academic) will take place back to back using a virtual platform. Such systems have worked for many professional exams globally in the past year and we are confident that this will allow us to examine candidates from across the globe.    

Examination timetable and practical arrangements for 2021

There will be 1 written and 1 oral exam only in 2021.

All candidates who have passed the written exam on 18th of June 2021 will be allowed to take the Oral exam on the 27th and 28th of November 2021 in order to successfully qualify for the EBSQ in Breast Surgery diploma.

In the case of a candidate who passed the written exam on 18th of June 2021 but, for any reason, does not apply to attend the oral exam, she/he can take the oral exam which follows the next year only.

MCQ/Written examination

The written exam took place on the 18th of June 2021 in centres : Athens; Basel; Brussels; Budapest; Cairo; Gothenburg; Hamburg; Istanbul; Kolkata; Lahore; Leiden; Liverpool; London; Madrid; Manchester; Milan; Mumbai: Vienna; Ljubljana.

Oral examination

The oral exam will take place on the 27-28th of November 2021 online.

Candidates will be notified if they have passed the written exam and are eligible to take the oral exam within a week of sitting the written exam and MUST register and pay to sit the oral exam by 15th of September 2021; a proof of payment must be sent to UEMS office by the above date. There is a limit of the number of candidates for the oral exam so late applicants will be passed on to the exam of the following year. The oral exam will run over 2 days and you will need to be available for the whole of both days.  

Standards of the examination

The European Breast examination is designed to test whether a candidate has the appropriate level of skills and knowledge to practice as a newly appointed specialist breast surgeon in a European Country (at the completion of specialist training).
A detailed syllabus and eligibility criteria for the exam are available to download from the website on the links below.
A textbook is available that covers most issues relating to the management of breast cancer but please note that candidates must also be able to manage benign breast diseases and reconstructive issues such as implant diagnostics and management which are not covered in this text.

Candidates who have applied and paid the fee for the exam will be eligible for a 15% discount on the book and will be issued with a discount code by the UEMS office which may be used to purchase the book from the publisher’s (Springer) website.
https://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319566719?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwLCQ6Ymo2AIVKijTCh0qJwTbEAQYAiABEgLrEfD_BwE

All profits from the sale of the book go towards running and developing the European Breast Examination.

Examination fees

The total fee for the exam is 700 euros.
However, for the first step of the registration, you only need to transfer to UEMS the fee of 400 euros:
– 150 euros for eligibility assessment, and 
250 euros for the written examination.
You can pay the balance (the fee for the oral exam equal to 300 euros) in a second time but before the deadline date of registration for the oral exam..

Examination fees should be transferred to UEMS by PayPal only. 
Important: please make sure that all PayPal transfer cost has to be covered by the applicant; each time, the net fee of the exam should be credited to UEMS account on your behalf. Please clearly indicate in your transfer your full name and that the fee is for the EBSQ in Breast Surgery examination.
In case you experience any difficulty with your PayPal payment you may contact the UEMS Office (office@uemssurg.org).

If you are found to be not eligible for the examination, the eligibility assessment fee will not be reimbursed.

Eligibility assessment

The number of examinees in each exam is limited.
Thus, the applicant’s eligibility will be assessed on “first come – first served” basis after he/she completes the application steps and pays the fee.
Please read the instructions carefully and submit all required documents to support your application.
Please note that you should submit a UEMS Breast Surgery logbook provided via our website signed by your Supervisor / Professor / Department Head / Hospital Chief, whichever is relevant in your case. 

Application documents

Please read the instructions carefully and submit all required documents to support your application.

Please do not submit your hospital e-logbooks.

Written examination

Candidates should arrive at the place of the examination centre approximately 1 hour before the exam, bringing an ID with a photo for identification.

The written examination consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Each question has 5 alternative answers, with “best of five” principle.
No penalty points for wrong answers.
Total time allocated is 120 minutes.

Here is an example of a question:

Q.: Which of the following statements is NOT correct:
A. Breast cancer is worldwide the leading cause of death in women
B. The most frequent histological type of Breast Cancer is Ductal carcinoma
C. Triple-negative breast cancer is not responding to hormonal therapy
D. SLNB is “standard of care” for cN0 patients
E. Post-mastectomy radiotherapy is needed in some patients

The written exam (Multiple Choice Questions) is internet based and is run simultaneously at all centres. Computers are provided by the Division (there is no need to bring your own laptop) and all candidates answer the same 50 MCQs but in a random, different order for each candidate.

Marking & success to the written examination

The pass mark of the written exam is calculated each time using an international standard-setting procedure (Anghoff Scoring).
Approximately a 55-60% of MCQs have to be answered correctly in order to pass the written exam but this will vary each year according to rigorous standard setting processes.

Results are provided via email approximately within 1 week after the examination date. If you have not heard by 1 week, please contact the exam administrator urgently to verify of we have the correct email address.

Oral examination

Only those who pass the written examination, are allowed to attend the oral examination.

If a candidate applies for the Oral exam, cancellation of the participation of the candidate for medical reasons only may be accepted until 1 month before the exam with no financial penalty. Cancellation after this date will not be refunded.

The oral examination consists of three 20 – 30 min tasks. Two tasks are clinical case discussions and the third is to evaluate a clinical research paper.

– Cases: details of a clinical case (patient’s history, tumor histology etc. and sometimes imaging and pictures of the clinical appearance of the patient) are given to the candidates at the time of the examination. Examiners will ask specific questions based on patient’s data such as: what type of operation would you suggest and why, is radiotherapy needed in this case etc., and general questions related to issues arising from the case, such as: which are the indications for radiotherapy in patients undergoing mastectomy?

– The scientific paper is provided by email 2- 3 days before the examination. The candidates are allowed to have the paper with them during the examination. Questions are related to the purpose of the study, design, results etc.  

The scientific paper will be provided by email 2- 3 days before the examination.

Marking & success to the oral examination

Each task has 10 questions scored 0-2.
The maximum score from the oral exam is 60 points and a minimum to pass is 30 points with a minimum of 10 points from each task.

Requirements of the oral examination

1) Profound knowledge in breast diseases (knowing local or national guidelines is not sufficient)

– epidemiology- etiology
– prevention
– diagnosis and staging- all aspects regarding surgical treatment

2) Basic knowledge in evidence-based medicine

3) Basic knowledge of breast cancer biology

4) Basic knowledge in systemic and radiation treatment of breast malignancies

In case of failure

Failing the written exam, a new attempt in the forthcoming exams is possible, the resit fee is €250.
Failing the oral exam, a new attempt in the forthcoming exams possible is, the resit fee is €300.

Failing twice

Failing twice in the written exam: New attempt possible, but not earlier than 2 years after the last failure. Full 700 € fee, submission of documents regarding education and training after the last failed exam mandatory. The eligibility of the applicant will be evaluated according to the education and training after the last failed examination.

Failing twice in the oral exam after having passed the written exam. New attempt possible, but not earlier than 2 years after the last failure. The written examination has to be passed before attending the oral examination. Full 700 € fee, submission of documents regarding education and training after the last failed exam mandatory. The eligibility of the applicant will be evaluated according to the education and training after the last failed examination.

The honorary diploma

The honorary Diploma in Breast Surgery (EBSQ hon) is granted by the Division of Breast Surgery as a “honor” to a small number of renowned and widely respected colleagues, who already have/had an exceptional career in the field of Breast Surgery, following a recommendation of at least 2 members of the EC and unanimous decision of EC committee members.