What is the EBEEM?
The European Board Examination in Emergency Medicine (EBEEM) is developed and implemented by EMERGE (Emergency Medicine Examination Reference Group in Europe). EMERGE is a joint-committee of EUSEM and the UEMS Section of Emergency Medicine. It is a two-part examination designed to confirm the candidate’s suitability for independent practice as an emergency physician within any country in the European Union. The examination assesses the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary for the clinical practice of Emergency Medicine at the level of the specialist or consultant engaged in independent practice. This confirms that the successful candidate is able to provide clinical leadership in the emergency department.
Why take the EBEEM?
The European Board exam has been running for many years now and has an increasing number of applications from a global range of countries, including many European countries. However there remain some concerns about the purpose of the Board exam and for some people uncertainty of the legal standing of the EBEEM.
There are clear advantages to the individual of success in the EBEEM:
- Institutions may elect to require success in the EBEEM for specialist/ consultant appointment.
- Institutions may utilise success in the EBEEM to differentiate between two applicants for the same post
- Training authorities may use the EBEEM (preparation and success) as part of the criteria for the accreditation process of training sites
- Individual departments may use success as a marker for promotion, e.g. for the successful candidate to be promoted to head of the department
- Countries without an existing formal exit exam may choose to use the EBEEM as their final exam for completion of training
- Success in Part A can be used as in-training evaluation to assess the progress of trainees in a training programme
- The comprehensive feedback provided to the unsuccessful candidate may support the further development of an individual doctor and focus their training.
- Training programmes may use success in the EBEEM to validate their training programme
This is a European exam with focus on European candidates. To ensure that the focus is maintained on Europe we encourage as many European trainees as possible to participate.
Part A assesses the knowledge basis for Emergency Medicine practice including basic sciences applied to Emergency Medicine. The exam consists of a knowledge test in multiple choice format with 120 questions, some of which are multiple true false format (5 items each true or false) and some are single best answer (5 items - one best answer).
The examination lasts 2.5 hours and is held simultaneously in several centres throughout Europe. The examination is held online, with candidates being given an individual log-in to a central website, which is available only for the duration of the examination. Candidates must take the exam at one of the designated exam centre locations.
The In-training assessment is intended for candidates who are not yet eligible to take the Part A exam. This is a practice test. If you are still in training and have worked for less than 36 months in the emergency department, this is an opportunity for you to experience the exam as practice. If you take the In-training assessment and PASS, you will still be required to formally take the actual Part A exam when you are eligible before receiving any qualification. The In-training is only a practice test.
Also for Belgian and Maltese EM specialist trainees you can take ITA as your formal assessment as it is accepted as your final exam. if you decide to take the ITA instead of the Part A exam the only difference is that with ITA you can't go further to the Part B exam.
Part B assesses the clinical skills, behaviours and knowledge required for independent practice in adults and children including pre-hospital care as described in the curriculum. Any presentation or diagnosis that is referenced in the curriculum may be included in the examination material. This part of the examination presents scenarios to the candidate, who is expected to manage the scenarios. The scenarios encompass a range of situations including:
- Leadership of resuscitation
- Direct clinical evaluation of patients
- Discussion of difficult situations with simulated patients, relatives and staff
- Interpretation of clinical data and discussion of management plans by structured oral questioning
- Demonstration of clinical skills
- Education and training of others around clinical situations
The exam consists of 4 structured clinical (OSCE) stations and 4 structured oral (viva) stations. They will last 10 minutes each, and you will have 5 minutes in between for reading instructions. There are also 2 rest stations. Some candidates will begin or end on a rest station.
Each station or scenario is judged independently and candidates are expected to pass at least 6 out of 8 scenarios. There is a minimum of two examiners present at each station.
The structured clinical (OSCE) stations will consist of:
- Clinical interaction
- Role players
The structured oral (viva) stations will consist of:
- Questions – listen carefully – give a rationale for your answers
- The examiner will move you on - don’t worry, it is a quick pace
- Be structured in your response if you can
- Pace yourself
The duration of the Part B exam is 2,5 hours.
Completion: Candidates who pass both parts of the exam will be invited to attend the Awards Ceremony at EUSEM'S annual European Congress on Emergency Medicine. The highest scoring candidates will receive special recognition.
Status of European postgraduate medical assessments
Regarding the legal standing of these postgraduate medical exams, the "UEMS-CESMA Guideline for the organisation of European postgraduate medical assessments" states:
- European postgraduate medical assessments are to be considered as a quality mark unless otherwise recognised by a national competent authority (NCA). Unless full NCA recognition has been obtained, the European postgraduate medical assessments will be considered complementary to the national examination.
- European postgraduate medical assessments will facilitate mobility of medical practitioners throughout the European Union (EU) by assessing specialist knowledge at an agreed EU standard. Furthermore, the European examinations will enable benchmarking of candidates against their European colleagues in other EU countries.
- However, passing a European postgraduate medical assessment will NOT imply a licence to practise. It is only the NCA that will be able to provide such a licence. Nevertheless, where full NCA recognition of a qualification applies, the European postgraduate medical assessments may provide a means for the NCA to determine eligibility for a licence to practise.
This statement is written by the members of EMERGE and designed to help Emergency Physicians in Europe to understand the importance and value of taking this specialist exam in Emergency Medicine. This is particularly relevant for countries where there is currently no exit exam at the end of training.
Success in the EBEEM does not confer a legal right to work as either a non-specialist (general medical registration) or specialist in any of the European countries (as you can see in the UEMS-CESMA guidelines). This is still dependent on the requirements of the national competent authorities.