Syllabus and Curriculum

Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery

Syllabus – Curriculum


The Upper Gastro-Intestinal Surgery syllabus comprehensively describes “Knowledge ” and “Knowledge and Skills” (= basis for an individual “LUGI-book”) mandatory for the qualification as Fellow of the European Board of Surgery in Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery (F.E.B.S./F.E.B.T.S. UGI Surg).

This syllabus is a congregate of the knowledge and skills of a visceral upper gastrointestinal surgeon and a thoracic surgeon, and reflects the collaboration of two UEMS Working Groups within 2 different UEMS Sections, which have now taken the form of a Multi-Disciplinary Joint Committee (MJC) in Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Surgery.

The syllabus is currently not a complete curriculum that gives a structured educational plan. As of now, it provides a crude orientation and a framework around which the preparation for the qualification as F.E.B.S./F.E.B.T.S. UGI Surg can be structured.  Within this syllabus, some parts can be considered as transferable skills for each Division of the UEMS Section of Surgery as long as a core curriculum is maintained.

The syllabus should not be viewed as static but will be continuously revised and updated by the members of the Committee of the MJC.

Research and changes in medicine may lead to significant changes in theory and clinical practice and consequently will influence the content of the syllabus. New topics will be introduced and obsolete topics may be deleted.
The candidates to the Examination for the qualification as F.E.B.S. are expected to update regularly their level according to the recent surgical practice and scientific literature.

To achieve the qualification as F.E.B.S./F.E.B.T.S. UGI Surgery, Knowledge” of a surgeon has to be documented and should be provided for Eligibility validation and are assessed by Examination.

For all the details on the expected knowledge, please download the following document:


The “Knowledge” and “Knowledge and Skills” required by UGI Surgery are closely related to other specialties. UGI surgeons collaborate with all other surgical specialties and a variety of non-surgical specialties like e.g. anesthesia, intensive care medicine, emergency medicine, radiology, pediatrics, gastroenterology, internal medicine, geriatrics, rehabilitation medicine. UGI Surgery is often performed in specialised centres. But, even out from a specialised centre, a UGI surgeon should possess the multi-specialty knowledges and skills to carry out required interventions safely.

The UGI surgeon must have acquired and must maintain specialised “Knowledges” and “Knowledges and Skills” (precisely defined in this additional catalogue) relating to the diagnosis, preoperative, operative and postoperative management in the following areas of primary responsibility:

  • Abdominal wall and abdominal organs;
  • Alimentary tract;
  • Thoracic wall and organs, including vascular, congenital and oncological disorders, particularly tumors and functional disorders of the upper GI alimentary tract;
  • Minimal invasive surgery, especially laparoscopic/ robotic and thoracoscopic procedures;
  • Diaphragmatic surgery, including diagnosis and surgery for hiatal hernia and reflux disorders;
  • Bariatric surgery, including diagnosis, indications and procedures;
  • Surgical oncology, including coordinated multidisciplinary management of the cancer patient;
  • Comprehensive management of trauma to the upper alimentary tract;
  • Care of critically ill patients with underlying conditions including coordinated multidisciplinary management;
  • Flexible endoscopy of upper alimentary tract, diagnostic and therapeutic, as well as advanced therapeutic procedures;
  • Methods for gastrointestinal function diagnosis, especially manometry and pH-metry;
  • Diagnostic and interventional radiology including sonography.

The Upper GI surgeons expected significant knowledge

Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) surgeons are expected to have significant knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry as they should understand the effects of common surgical disease and injuries upon the normal structure and function of the various systems of the body.
UGI surgeons are expected to have knowledge of cell biology necessary to understand normal and disordered function of tissues and organs.
They should have an understanding of the pathogenesis of the common correctable congenital abnormalities.
Upper GI surgeons are expected to know the actions and toxic effects of drugs commonly used in perioperative and intraoperative care and in the management of critically ill surgical patients. They must also have an understanding of general pathology including the principles of immunology and microbiology in relation to surgical practice.
Last but not least, the Upper GI surgeon must be trained in the economics of health care, in the assessment of research methods and scientific publications and be given the option of research in a clinical and relevant field of further training in another related specialty.