How to Become Part of European Ophthalmology?
It all starts with the U.E.M.S. (UNION EUROPÉENNE DES MÉDECINS SPÉCIALISTES) i.e. EUROPEAN UNION OF MEDICAL SPECIALISTS, which has members from 34 countries (1.6 millionof medical specialists), and whose activities are conducted through 39 specialist sections. UEMS has good links and cooperation with European institutions (Council and Parliament) and other medical, scientific and national associations, with the objective of establishing high health care standards and ensuring their implementation.
UEMS Section of Ophthalmology was establishedin 1963, in Belgium andis currently representing members from 30 countries and 3 associated countries. Main objective of UEMS is harmonization and improving quality of medical specialist training, qualifications and practice in the European Union. Section has two delegates from each country.
Permanent working group of UEMS Section of Ophthalmology is EBO (European Board of Ophthalmology), whose main task is implementation of standards from ophthalmological training. Two delegates from national associations have been nominated from each EU country, as well as Norway and Switzerland, (one delegate with academic title and the other from professional practice), for the period of four years, with possibility of extension for one mandate. EBO also has delegates (one delegate per country) from associated countries and countries in the EU accession process.
EBO is responsible for implementation of three main tasks:
- 1. EBOD (EBO Diploma) is an ophthalmology exam that is certifying level of knowledge and clinical skills that are required for providing high standard of ophthalmological practice and treatment in hospitals and in independent clinical practices. Exam is held each year in Paris, at the beginning of May and consists of written and oral part. Residents at the end of their specialization are eligible for this exam, as well as specialists with completed specialist exams from European countries which have their delegates in UEMS and EBO. Exam is organized in three languages (English, German and French), while for the oral part of exam there is an examiner that speaks the language of the candidate. After the passing of exam, candidate can add to his name the title of FEBO (Fellow of the EBO). EBO Diploma is completely equal or alternative to national exams in the following countries: Switzerland, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Slovenia and Austria. Cost of the exam is 400€. At the last EBOD in 2013, there were 440 candidates from 23 countries, with the success rate of around 90%. Basic literature that is recommended for studying and taking of this exam is: Kanski Series, AAO series, Spalton Atlas, Wills Manual, Moorfields Manual.
- Defining all requirements related to specialist training in ophthalmology (TRAINING REQUIREMENTS for the SPECIALTY OPHTHALMOLOGY): teaching programme, duration of internship, basic surgical procedures, requirements for teachers or mentors, establishing standards for training institutions, etc.
- Implementation of CME (Continuing Medical Education)by providing guidelines and valuation of all activities which contribute to improvement and advancement of professional knowledge and skills throughout career.
In addition to UEMS and EBO there are other associations that have close cooperation and are united in promotion of education and research in ophthalmology, such as:
Therefore, on its path to the EU accession, Montenegro should consider initial steps for developing of our profession in accordance with European standards. This can be achieved through delegating our representatives in UEMS and EBO. This will also enable future generations of ophthalmologists from Montenegro to gain quality knowledge and European qualifications.
More detailed information can be found at the following websites:
Prepared by Dr Edita Files Bradarić