Surgical Oncology EBSQ Examination

From the year 2021 the Surgical Oncology exam is held also in Spanish language. Therefore, candidates now may apply for the exam in three languages: English, German and Spanish.

Application process for the Exam in year 2022 will be opened by the end of 2021.

The EBSQ Examination consists of two parts: Part A (written part) and Part B (oral part). A candidate has to “pass” both parts in order to be qualified for the “FEBS in Surgical Oncology” Diploma.

The written exam (Multiple Choice Questions) is online based. English and Spanish language exams run simultaneously on-site at all centers (please, see the list of exam centers below). German language exam run separately. All candidates answer the same 60 MCQs. Each question has 5 posible answers and only one is correct. There are no negative points for wrong answers. Computers are provided by the Division (there is no need to bring your own laptop).

The written part is held in the following exam centres:

There is a strictly limited number of candidates per location and candidates will be asked to specify their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice when they apply on line. The candidates will be allocated on a firstcomefirstserved basis.


Due to the highly unpredictable situation regarding the travel and border crossing restrictions, depending on COVID 19 situation the written and/or oral exams may be organized completely online. This means that exam will not be held in exam centers but at candidates’ homes, offices and other convenient locations. Our new software platform contains sufficient security mechanisms that allow us to do this in this way. All candidates will receive access codes and instructions on how to access the exam in due course.

The written exam includes the questions from the following areas:

Only candidates who passed the written exam will be invited to take the oral exam. During the registration process, candidates will be asked to specify 3 sub-specialist areas of expertise. During the oral exam, examiners will select two areas out of the selected three which will form the focus of the oral examination. Please note that this applies ONLY for the oral exam. Written test includes questions from all above listed areas of expertise.

The oral examination

The oral examination consists of four 15 min tasks. Two tasks are clinical case discussions and the another two tasks are to evaluate a clinical research paper.
Two Clinical 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 as well as general questions related to issues arising from the case
Two Scientific Paper are provided 2 hours 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. 

EBSQ Exam in German language

There are two groups of candidates:

The first group of candidates are the members of the German Association of Surgical Oncology (ACO) who completed one-year fellowship program of Surgical Oncology in Germany. In case of successful exam, they will receive both UEMS and ACO certificate.

The second group of candidates are the non-members of ACO. In case of successful exam, they will receive UEMS certificate but not the ACO certificate.

Surgical Oncology EBSQ Exam in German language in year 2021 is finished. Application process for the Exam in year 2022 will be opened by the end of 2021.

EBSQ Exam in English language

Candidates who already applied and were supposed to do the exam in English language in 2020 will have it together with the candidates who applied for the exam in English language in 2021.

The oral exam in English will be held on: Thursday, November 11, 2021 in Lisbon, one day after the ESSO 40 Congress (in case the COVID situation allows that, otherwise it will be held virtual).

Therefore, please wait with the flight reservation and hotel accommodation until it is confirmed that the ESSO Congress and Exam will be organized as planned and that you will be able to travel. In case of cancelation or postponing the exam due to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation, UEMS will not accept any material responsibility or liability.

EBSQ Exam in Spanish language

The Surgical Oncology exam in Spanish language in 2021 will be held at same locations and time as the English language exam.

The content and the course of the exams in Spanish, German or English language as well as the eligibility criteria are the same.

Recommended literature (updated dec. 2020)

Basic Science
Surgical Oncology
Site Specific References
Clinical Oncology, Palliative Care
Online sources
Significant clinical articles

Eligibility Criteria for EBSQ Surgical Oncology Examination (May 18th, 2015)

  1. Each candidate must hold a current licence to practise as a general surgeon
    at the time of the examination.
  2. Each candidate must have received certificate of specialist training from a
    European Union or associated country. Since 2010, candidates trained outside
    Europe are entitled to apply for the examination. A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE
  3. Each candidate must be able to demonstrate that he/she had worked for
    a minimum of two years in a designated oncology centre specialising in surgical oncology*

    (*or a minimum of three years if this experience was not in a designated oncology
    centre or had followed a surgical oncology clinical fellowship of one year’

    or a specialist training of one year working as a surgeon in a recognised oncology related field

    or a surgical oncology research fellowship plus two years in a clinical surgical oncology setting)

    In addition to a completed application form and a curriculum vitae
    candidates will be required to submit a letter from their Head of Department
    supporting the application.
  4. A log book of operative procedures in surgical oncology, covering a period of
    at least three years, including information on whether the candidate was first assistant (A),
    principal surgeon assisted by trainer (B) or principal surgeon not assisted by trainer
    (C) must be included with this application. Please note that at the beginning of the logbook,
    all operations must be grouped, sorted and counted by the type of operation and position
    of the candidate (e.g.: modified radical mastectomy – first assistant – 4 operations,
    low anterior resection – principal surgeon – 3 operations and so on). Without this,
    log book will not be accepted. The list of operative procedures must be signed
    and stamped by the appropriate trainer.

List of supporting documents that a candidate must submit along with an exam application

Logbook and Declaration templates

Surgical Oncology Logbook template can be downloaded from the following links:

Logbook in Microsoft Word format
Logbook in Adobe PDF format

Please note, that logbook must be prepared according to the rules described under item No. 4 in “Eligibilty criteria”, otherwise, it will not be accepted.

Declaration by applicant and trainers template in Adobe PDF format can be downloaded from the following link:

Declaration by applicant and trainers

Pass Mark

The “pass mark” of the written exam is different every year. It is calculated before the exam using international standard-setting procedure (Anghoff Scoring) and depends on complexity of the questions. Calculated values are usually (not always) between 55-65%.

Percentiles based system (Cohen) is not used.

Examination fee and payment details

The cost of applying for the EBSQ in Surgical Oncology is €600:

  1. €250 for the Eligibility Assessment which must be paid at the time of application
    and which is non refundable in case of non-selection or withdrawal.
  2. €350 for the Examination which must be paid within two weeks following confirmation
    of selection. Candidates will be informed about the exact deadline for this
    in due course.

Cancelation and refund policy

Refund of the examination fee (€250) is only permitted if the UEMS is notified of cancellation at least 6 weeks in advance of the date of the exam. Candidates who cancel after this period will not be eligible for a refund as the UEMS will have incurred non refundable costs in arranging examiners at this point.   Candidates requiring a visa should bear this in mind and apply for their visa in good time.

Candidates who cancel having passed the eligibility assessment will be able to apply for the exam within the  following 2 years without paying the eligibility assessment fee again.  Candidates who fail the exam may resit within 2 years without undergoing a further eligibility assessment/eligibility fee but will have to pay the examination fee (€350) each time they resit.

Payments must be made via Paypal