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Established to set high professional standards


Gerhard Ziemer, MD, PhD

Gerhard Ziemer, MD, PhD

It is with great sadness that the Board has learned of the passing of Dr. Gerhard Ziemer (1953 - 2022).

He was an accomplished and professional examiner for the European Board for many years, his experience and wisdom guiding the assessment of many surgeons over that time, and committed to maintaining the highest standards in cardiothoracic surgery. He developed a strong and enduring bond with his fellow examiners who held him in high regard and with great respect for his expertise and knowledge.

He was born in Germany and trained in Hannover under Professor Hans Georg Borst. After some time he worked in Tübingen, He transitioned to the university of Chicago in 2011 and at the time of his death he was working in Danville, Pennsylvania.

He was the Founder President of the  European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association, a Past President of the Society of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery and a founding member  of the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery. He was also known for his delivery of care to  children many countries including Peru.

The Board acknowledges with the deepest respect the great contributions of our late colleague to the examination and to congenital heart surgery and passes our respects to his family and friends at this difficult time.



The Membership of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (MEBCTS): tests the scope of knowledge, clinical judgement and application of the principles and practice of surgery to the standard expected at the end of National training in the generality of cardiothoracic surgery, ready to commence as an independent specialist.


The Fellowship of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (FEBCTS): tests the scope of knowledge, clinical judgement and application of the principles and practice of an autonomous / independently practising surgeon to the standard expected in one or more areas of established sub-specialist practice – adult cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, congenital cardiac surgery.


The EBCTS Syllabus describes the knowledge, skills and behaviours examined in the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery examinations. The syllabus identifies the breadth of medical knowledge and clinical judgement as learning outcomes required for the Membership and Fellowship examinations of the EBCTS.




The MEBCTS examination will be divided into 2 specialities
Adult Cardiac/Congenital or Thoracic
The examination dates will be as follows:
Thoracic: September 2023
Adult Cardiac & Congenital: September 2023

Applications for the 2023 Level One MEBCTS examination are now open and will close on 31 May 2023.


The FEBCTS examinations are divided into 3 specialties
Adult Cardiac, Congenital, Thoracic
The examination dates are as follows:
Congenital: July 2023
Thoracic: July 2023
Adult Cardiac: July 2023

Applications for the 2023 Level Two FEBCTS examination are now open and will close on 30 April 2023.



The primary aim of The European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EBCTS) is to encourage common high standards and qualifications in cardiothoracic surgery in all European countries and beyond.  This should potentially allow for the mutual recognition of these qualifications between European countries and elsewhere.

An online resource for you

The European Board has established this online resource to inform you regarding the details of the EBCTS examinations, regulations and requirements. Please contact Amanda Cameron if you have any queries or questions.

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