The European Board Examination in Neurology will take place for the 4th time during the EFNS meeting in Stockholm, in 2012. After Milan, Geneva and Lisbon, the UEMS* European Board of Neurology (EBN) examination has become established and is an important initiative which follows the UEMS (www.uems.net) recommendations to hold European board examinations in Europe. This has several explicit and implicit consequences: the UEMS EBN examination is a three step examination (1. approval of the national society, 2. MCQ test, 3. oral examination) which has been developed by European specialist societies and has several quality mechanisms as the independent evaluation of the education committee. This includes also an educational quality assessment by the Department of Medical Education of the Ege University in Izmir, Turkey.
The implicit aspects are that a European examination increases harmonisation and the hope is that many European medical associations in the future in part, or as a whole will replace their board examination with this European examination.
The successful participants of the examination will be awarded the title Fellow of the European Board of Neurology which is a sign of excellence. So far Austria and Belgium have recognized the UEMS EBN examination as equal to their national examination.
The UEMS EBN examination setup has a robust structure, in the concept and in practicability. Yet, it is a dynamic process, and based on modern concepts of education, we have decided to replace the “oral“ part by a different structure which will be based on decision making. For this purpose either so called Key features or Extended Matchinq Questions (EMQ) will be developed. The choice will depend on the decision of the delegates of EBN after considering practical issues. Another important development is e-brain, which is available to EFNS members; and for the first time in Stockholm, the UEMS EBN will apply a number of questions from e-brain modified to the format of the UEMS EBN examination.
To complete the quality circle of training and examination, the UEMS EBN also offers training centre visitations which will give a local introspect into training centres and will be done jointly with the national societies. Departments fulfilling the UEMS EBN quality criteria will be able to be called: “European Board of Neurology accredited Department”. Residents from these visited departments will receive a reduction of the UEMS/EBN examination fee.
Please consult the UEMS EBN website for further information and also application material. If you have ideas, suggestions or opinions please send us mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
*UEMS – European Union of Medical specialists (abbr. from French)
Wolfgang Grisold is Professor of Neurology in Vienna, Austria, Past President of the UEMS European Board of Neurology, and currently the Chair of the UEMS EBN Examination Committee. He is Elected Trustee of the World Federation of Neurology.