General Surgery

The EBSQ (General Surgery), a quality mark

The EBSQ General Surgery Examination delivered by the UEMS and leading to the conferment of Fellow of the European Board of Surgery in General Surgery (FEBS General Surgery), is a quality mark for training in General Surgery.

It is an ‘Exit Examination’ which constitutes the final rite of passage for Specialist Trainees in General Surgery who have satisfied the requirements of the UEMS EBSQ General Surgery Syllabus and Curriculum.

Successful candidates are awarded the Qualification and may add the title "Fellow of the European Board of Surgery in General Surgery (F.E.B.S. General Surgery) to their name.

Like other specialties within the European Union (EU), General Surgery is regulated by the EU Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC, which provides for automatic mutual recognition in the European Community for European nationals whose name appear on their national Specialist register. The UEMS EBSQ - General Surgery Qualification does not lead to automatic recognition for specialist registration within the EU. Neither does it give the right to practice in any UEMS member country either (Glasgow Declaration: Appendix 1; point 3); such a right is only granted by the relevant National Authority.

By providing supporting evidence, the Qualification may be an important factor in the eligibility process for a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT, CCST), in countries where this constitutes the system of Specialist Registration.  However, passing the UEMS EBSQ General Surgery Examination, leading to FEBS, in itself, does not lead to automatic conferment of the CCT (CCST). It is part of the application process where this applies.

In some countries, for trainees having completed the relevant training programme and satisfied all the requirements of the relevant Curriculum, the FEBS may lead to eligibility for CCT (CCST).

In countries where such a decision was adopted unilaterally or following bilateral agreements, the UEMS EBSQ General Surgery Examination has substituted the National Examination as a pre-requisite for Specialist Registration.

In some countries, the FEBS may facilitate eligibility for independent practice. This is of course entirely subject to authorization by the national relevant body.

In some countries, the UEMS EBSQ General Surgery Qualification it is taken into consideration in surgical appointments.

Outside Europe, and particularly in the Middle East, the EBSQ Qualification is increasingly recognized as a quality mark.

It is important that, if in any doubt, applicants for or holders of the Qualification seek clarification from the regulatory authority of the country where they are planning to practice.

Scope of General Surgery

General Surgery is a large specialty. It requires the acquisition of knowledge in basic sciences, the development of clinical and operative skills, as well as specialized knowledge and skills. It includes the management of congenital and acquired diseases and injuries of most organ systems.

It provides for operative and non-operative management, i.e. prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, decision making, treatment, intensive care and rehabilitation of patients with pathological processes that affect these organs, including the management of pain.

It also involves the necessary knowledge and expertise leading to referral to specialized centres when this is indicated and possible. Where this is not possible because of time and geographical considerations, the general Surgeon must possess the multi-specialty skills necessary to carry out these interventions safely.

The General Surgeon must be able to decide on whether a surgical treatment versus or a conservative management will serve the patient best.

The General Surgeon must be equipped to carry out a wide range of interventions safely and/or to refer patients to specialized colleagues or centres when indicated and possible.

In the management of patients, General Surgeons are often called to co-operate closely with other surgical specialists in the fields of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine, Radiology and Interventional Radiology, Neurology, Paediatrics, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Rehabilitation Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and also Pharmacy.

Good communication skills are essential, in full respect of confidentiality.

The General Surgeon should also be able to treat and/or refer trauma and emergency patients depending on personal abilities, geographical situation and other regional modalities.

To make appropriate decisions, General Surgeons must keep their knowledge and skills up to date and be involved in Continuous Professional Development.