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Information for candidates - Level 2 MEBCTS



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.


The standards are set to award certificates of the Board to surgeons who have attained levels of knowledge and proficiency that can be recognised as appropriate for early and established independent specialist practice in the generality of Cardiothoracic Surgery and sub-specialist areas.

The Candidates

Candidates' applications will be reviewed to ensure that they are eligible to take the examination. Candidates should read the Regulations of the European Board carefully before applying to ensure that they are eligible to take the examination.

The FEBCTS Examination - What to expect

The level 2 Fellowship consists of an oral examination conducted in person with our EBCTS examiners.

The Fellowship examination will assess all the Level One outcomes across the entire syllabus in addition to the Level Two outcomes within the General and chosen sub-specialty area (adult cardiac surgery; thoracic surgery; congenital cardiac surgery) of the syllabus. This examination will comprise of multiple structured vivas/oral examination with pairs of examiners.

You can choose to take an examination in cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery or congenital surgery either alone or in combination.

You will be tested on your knowledge, interpretation of investigations, management and judgement by pairs of examiners working together at a table.

Tables will ask you questions based on clinical scenarios themed to coincide with major areas of practice and which are covered in the EBCTS syllabus depending on the examination you wish to take.

For example a candidate taking the thoracic examination may have oral examinations at separate tables covering lung cancer, mediastinal disease and lung failure. A cardiac candidate may attend separate tables asking questions about ischaemia, structural heart disease and another covering aortic disease for example.

Themes and the number of tables may change between diets of the examinations.

Questions are designed to facilitate a conversation between the candidate and the examiner as professional surgeons on important topics in practice.

The total examination time will usually be around 90 minutes. 


Results will normally be available within a week of the conclusion of the assessment.



The Board will organise the Fellowship examinations in the 3 sub-specialties at least once a year (starting 2018).


Certificates will be awarded by the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery with recognition by the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Union of European Medical Specialties (UEMS)


Previous variants of the European Board exam are the equivalent to the current Level 2 (FEBCTS) examination.

1986-2012 – European Board of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgeons – FEBTCS
2013-2016 – European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery – FEBCTS

EBCTS is not a regulatory or standards setting body and EBCTS certification is only a confirmation that a surgeon has passed a particular exam or reached a certain standard. EBCTS certification does not supersede the responsibilities of local, national, or wider formal professional assessment of 'fit for practice' accreditation

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