Eligibility Criteria

Regulations of the UEMS Board of Thoracic Surgery

Eligibility (A –Regulation)

Article 1
For candidates trained in European member states (and Switzerland and Norway, and countries with observer status), requirements in the country of training must be met. Applicants should have obtained the certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST) by the national body responsible for issuing such certificate in EU member states (and Switzerland and Norway, and countries with observer status).
The training period is defined as a continuum of training including the generality of surgery and thoracic surgery, leading to its endpoint, which is qualification for the CCST.
The duration of training period should be no less than 5 years.

Article 2
Candidates having trained outside of European  member states (and Switzerland and Norway, and countries with observer status) may apply for UEMS EBSQ EBTS under the same reglementations as European member states (and Switzerland and Norway, and countries with observer status), PROVIDED that they have obtained an OFFICIAL RECOGNITION of  the equivalence of their diplomas AND a working permit.

Article 3
UEMS EBTS certification recognizes knowledge, skills and competence in Thoracic Surgery. Though it is not a working permit, EBTS certification should serve as a label for a high quality standard of training and favour European mobility.

Article 4
This UEMS EBTS certification can only recognize Thoracic Surgery. It can be held by those who include other areas of surgery within their overall practice (for example general, cardiac, and/or vascular surgery). This should harmonize with European rules for those specialties. 
EBTS cannot recognize competence outside of Thoracic Surgery.

Article 5
European member state candidates (and Switzerland and Norway candidates, and those coming from countries with observer status) can only apply for board certification if they have validated the National Medical Doctor Diploma (MD or equivalent), have completed training in thoracic surgery recognized as such by their responsible National organisation, and are fully trained specialists allowed to practice thoracic surgery in their country.
In case a European country should consider EBTS examination as the National examination of conclusion of training, the training period (cf article 1) after conclusion of medical school should be no less than 5 years.

Article 6
Candidates from EU countries where Thoracic Surgery is not an independent specialty will be evaluated on an individual basis provided that they fulfil all other requirements (e.g. numbers and type of operations) during their training.
In EU member state countries where Thoracic Surgery is not independent from Cardiac Surgery, UEMS EBTS will only evaluate knowledge, skills and competence in Thoracic Surgery. To be admitted to the examination, the candidate should meet the training criteria applied to mono-specialists.
EBTS cannot be used to bypass existing National examinations.

Article 7
Overall minimum length of training is five years. 
At least 1 year of training is required in the generality of surgery.
Besides, exposure to cardiac -,vascular surgery, intensive care, pulmonology, interventional bronchology or radiology should be encouraged.
This additional experience should be documented by a certifying letter of the Program Director.

Article 8
Overall minimum length of training is five years. A minimum of 3 years of training should be spent in thoracic surgical units.

Article 9
The applicant should have performed and provide proof of at least 100 thoracic operations as the operating surgeon, including both open and  video-assisted
procedures. In addition, he should have a significant experience with diagnostic procedures such as mediastinoscopy, bronchoscopy and/or esophagoscopy. This cumulative operative experience should be acquired during the training period (cf article 1).

Article 10
Candidates should demonstrate knowledge and skills in related areas such as thoracic surgical and radiological anatomy, pathology, respiratory physiology and function testing, thoracic endoscopy, thoracic imaging and other diagnostic procedures.

Article 11
Candidates should demonstrate competence in patient selection, pre-, intra- and post-operative care, and management of complications. Techniques such as non- invasive ventilation, tracheal intubation and tracheostomy, central venous catheterization are mandatory. A basic knowledge of the principles of organ transplantation is encouraged.

Article 12
Candidates should demonstrate research interest, materialized by at least 3  written publications or presentations in Thoracic Surgery.

Process of recognition (A-regulation)

Article 13

Candidates must submit an application file containing the documents listed  below. All documents which are not in English should be doubled with an officially stamped and signed translation made by a sworn-in translator. Files will be submitted to a peer review to decide whether the candidate fulfils criteria to be eligible for EBTS examination.

Application is subjected to a fee. Candidates are encouraged to carefully  watch for eligibility criteria. If the application is rejected after peer review,  the application fee will only partly be refunded, after deduction of cost for administrative handling.

The following documents should be submitted:

  • A completed UEMS/EBTS application form
  • Identity
    • Copy of passport
    • A recent photograph
  • Professional qualification
    • Copy of national medical diploma. When the national medical diploma is obtained outside of EU member states (or Switzerland and Norway, or countries with observer status), the diploma must be ratified for equivalence by the appropriate official body in the country where the specialist training takes place.
    • Copy of licence to practice medicine
    • Copy of national specialist diploma or CCST (certificate of completion of training) allowing to practice thoracic surgery, (least the country recognize EBTS examination as the exit examination).
  • Short curriculum vitae
  • Training curriculum
    • Detailed list of rotations with precise start –and end dates and location during the whole training, and the resume year by year, signed by the Director /coordinator of the Training program
    • Precise and exhaustive logbook of operations performed during the training period, indicating separately which have been performed as first surgeon or as assistant, must not be submitted, but has to be brought to the pre-examination interview.
    • List of courses and meetings attended
  • Scientific credential
    • List of publications and presentations
    • For publications, please join PDF file
    • For presentations, please provide a copy of the printed program
    • Certificate of Master’s degree in Science or PhD when existing, but optional
  • Candidates are free to join recommendation letters of their mentors.
  • If a country decides officially that the UEMS EBTS is part of the official final exit certification of this country, all relevant official documents are to be provided by the candidate.

Article 14
Eligibility to take the examination will be pronounced by a peer review process. Individual files will be submitted to a peer review by experts, who must be different from the members of the board of examiners.

Article 15
Candidates whose files have been approved after peer review are admitted to pass an examination. Official language is English. There is no additional fee, but there will be no refunding for candidates failing at the examination.

Article 16
The examination is held by a panel of at least 6 Board-certified Thoracic Surgeons,
appointed by the President of the Board. Modalities of the examination will be
announced no later than at the deadline for registration. All parts of the examination will
be held by at least 2 examiners. At least one member of the panel will speak the
candidate’s native language, if the candidate specifically asks for it.

Article 17
In order to acquire the appropriate knowledge, candidates are encouraged to refer to the existing textbooks and major European/international journals. Both European Scientific Societies organize accredited educational events that are recommended.

Article 18
Results of the examination will be announced by the chairman of the board of examiners
and/or president/secretary of the European Board. The appeal mechanism will be that
immediately after the announcement of the marks, any candidate may appeal to the
chair if he or she feels that the result is unfair. If a better mark on one part would alter
the result, the candidate may be re-examined in that part of the examination by a
different pair of examiners. If the marks are uniformly poor the chair would point that
out and may deem re-examination as pointless.

Article 19
The Board will organize the examination at least once a year.

Article 20
Candidates from EU member states ( Switzerland and Norway, and countries with
observer status) who have successfully the examination will receive a diploma certifying
them Diplomate of the UEMS European Board of Thoracic Surgery (FEBTS).