Frequently Asked Questions

General information on UEMS

What is the UEMS?

The European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) is a non-governmental organisation representing national associations of medical specialists in the European Union and in its associated countries. With a current membership of 37 countries and operating through 43 Specialists Sections and European Boards, the UEMS brings together approximately 1.6 million medical specialists in Europe. With the support of its membership, the UEMS is committed to the promotion of free movement of European medical specialists while ensuring the highest quality of medical care for European citizens.

What are the UEMS objectives?

UEMS aims for the following international non profit-making objectives:

  • The study, promotion and harmonisation of the highest level of training of the medical specialists, medical practice and health care within the European Union;
  • The study and promotion of free movement of specialists doctors within the EU;
  • The representation, within this framework of the medical specialist profession in the Member States of the EU, to EU authorities and any other authority and/or organisation dealing with questions directly or indirectly concerning the medical profession, and any action which might further the achievement of the afore mentioned objectives.
  • The defence of the professional interests of European Medical Specialists.

The activities UEMS proposes in order to achieve these objectives are notably the following:

  • Setting up Sections and Boards for each medical specialty;
  • Setting up a general system of accreditation of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Postgraduate Training and Quality Management at European level;
  • Setting up working groups on issues of interest for medical specialists at European level;
  • Organising seminars and studies in the relevant fields of specialist medicine;
  • Any other activity which would be considered necessary.
Which countries are represented in the UEMS?

The UEMS is representing 37 Countries which have different status within the organization: full member, associate member, observer member. Each National Member Association represents its country at the UEMS Council.

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What is the strategy of the UEMS for the future?

The UEMS adopted in 2008 its strategy to detail its objectives for the next years. 9 key areas have been identified as a priority for the UEMS to achieve its goals and objectives:

  • Increase political significance at the European level
  • Promote the harmonisation of Post Graduate medical Training in Europe
  • Improve the coordination of CME-CPD in Europe
  • Encourage Quality assurance in Specialist medical practice
  • Provide analysis of data related to medical specialist practice
  • Offer knowledge-based medical and professional expertise
  • Increase Leadership and management
  • Develop Marketing and resource
  • Stimulate corporate identity

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In which projects is the UEMS involved in at the European level?

The UEMS is involved in different EU-funded projects and provides its expert-based knowledge to relevant decision-makers. It provides the viewpoint of practising health professionals.

The UEMS is currently involved in Momentum, Renewing Health, ECAB and the Joint Action Healthcare Workforce.

What is the link between the UEMS and the European Institutions?

Since its creation in 1958, the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) has played a major role in shaping the agenda of the European Institutions in matters relating to the practice of that profession. Historically, this collaboration culminated with the adoption of the medical directives, and ultimately the directive on the recognition of professional qualifications, as well as with the involvement of the UEMS in the implementation of these pieces of legislation. The UEMS essentially played a major role in this regard in leading the works of the Advisory Committee on Medical Training (ACMT) With time, the UEMS action was not any longer limited to these fields and encompassed issues such as patient mobility, e-health and telemedicine, working conditions for specialists, etc.

How are medical specialties represented at the European level?

In 1962, the UEMS created its first Specialist Sections in order to promote and defend the interests of the different medical specialties at the European level.

Above all, UEMS Specialist Sections develop European standards of medical training in their respective medical discipline.

In discipline which are part of a main specialty, UEMS Specialist Sections can request to the UEMS Council the creation of a Divisions which also promote and defend the interests of this particular branch of a medical specialty (ex: Paediatric Allergology being a division of the UEMS Specialist Section of Paediatrics).

In disciplines involving several specialties, UEMS Specialist Sections can request to the Council the creation of a Multidisciplinary Joint Committee. (ex: MJC in Spine Surgery which involved Orthopaedics, Surgery…).

What are the advantages of belonging to UEMS?

The UEMS is in close contacts with European institutions as well as with other organisation having a stake in healthcare matters. Over the years, it has developed a wide network of contacts. The UEMS promotes the values, concerns and expectations of practicing medical specialists at the European level. It advocates for increased involvement of Medical Doctors in decision-making processes as the best way to implement changes in the healthcare sector.

In doing so, the UEMS offers the European Institutions the expertise of its Members. It notably involves several specialties in different EU funded projects to provide their knowledge and experience, thereby giving significant input and feedback to shape European health policies.

National Member Associations of UEMS can have their views and concerns promoted to the relevant European institutions. They also receive regular information on the latest developments as regards European health-related issues.

Members of UEMS Specialist Sections and European Boards contribute to shaping the European standards of medical care through elaboration of standards, guidelines and recommendations in the field of Post graduate training or Continuing Medical Education.

The UEMS internal structures

What are the different structures within the UEMS?

The UEMS is formally made up of the following bodies:

  • A General Assembly: the UEMS Council
  • An Executive: the UEMS Executive
  • In order to carry out its daily running, the UEMS is supported by its Brussels secretariat.

To achieve its objectives, the UEMS established:

  • Specialist Sections, Divisions, Multidisciplinary Joint Committees and European Boards
  • Working groups in specific areas: Post Graduate Training, eHealth, Medical Practice, Ethics
  • Accreditation Councils in each key area of UEMS: EACCME®, ECAMSQ® and EACQM
What is a UEMS Specialist Sections?

A Specialist Section is a UEMS entity in charge of promoting and defending the interests of a given medical specialty. It is composed of medical specialists nominated by the different member associations of the UEMS Council.

UEMS Specialist Sections develop standards, policy recommendations and draft European Curriculum in their specialty.

What is a Multidisciplinary Joint Committee?

A Multidisciplinary Joint Committee is a grouping of different UEMS Specialist Sections created in order to discuss scientific and training issues of interest to several specialties (ex; Oncology, Spine Surgery, Sports Medicine…). Currently, 11 MJC exist within UEMS.

MJCs can be created upon request to the Council of one or more Specialist Section or by the UEMS Council itself.

What is a Division?

A division is a sub entity within a Specialist Section which aims to address the issues of a sub specialty within a main specialty
(ex: Neuroradiology is a sub specialty of Radiology).

UEMS Divisions can be created by UEMS Specialist Sections after the approval of the UEMS Council.

What is a European Board?

A European Board is a working group within a Specialist Section aiming at addressing in particular training issues. In this respect, it involves members from the Section and members from scientific societies in accordance with UEMS regulations.

How to create an entity within UEMS?

The process is different whether the objective is to create a Specialist Section, a Division, a MJC or a European Board.

Rules governing the creation of a UEMS entity

What is the EACCME?

The EACCME® stands for European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. It provides a mechanism of mutual recognition of evaluation of CME events by National Accreditation Authorities.

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What is the ECAMSQ?

The ECAMSQ® stands for “European Council for Accreditation of Medical Specialist Qualifications”. The aim of this body is to address the issue of medical specialist qualifications across Europe and ensure that medical specialists meet the highest standard of qualification in order to ensure quality and safety of care provided to patients.
The ECAMSQ® ultimately aims to assess and certify medical specialists’ competence on the basis of harmonised European standards developed by the UEMS.

What is the CESMA?

CESMA stands for “Council for European Specialty Medical Assessment”. It aims to provide recommendations on European specialty examinations.

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UEMS Policies and Standards

What are the UEMS policies of the UEMS of interest to the medical profession?

The UEMS adopted several policy documents which details its position with regard to specific and relevant area of interest to medical specialists.
In this respect, the UEMS drafted key policy documents in areas such as Quality in Patient Care, Post Graduate Medical Training, Continuing Professional Development…

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What is the UEMS Training Charter for European Medical Specialists?

In 1994, the UEMS adopted its “Charter on Training of Medical Specialists in Europe”. This documents sets the basic standards of high quality Medical training at the European level.

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What is a Chapter 6?

In 1994, the UEMS adopted its “Charter on Training of Medical Specialists in Europe”. This documents sets the basic standards of high quality Medical training at the European level. It includes 6 chapters.

  • Preamble
  • Chapter 1 - National Authority
  • Chapter 2 - General Aspects of Training of Medical Specialists
  • Chapter 3 - Requirements for Training Institutions
  • Chapter 4 - Requirements for Chief of Training
  • Chapter 5 - Requirements for Trainees
  • Chapter 6 - Requirements for Specialty (to be filled in by the appropriate UEMS Specialist Section)


Each Specialist Section is in charge of developing its Chapter 6 to set the European standards in their specialty. Once elaborated, the Sections’ Chapter 6 is submitted to the UEMS Council for consideration and decision.

Accreditation

What is European accreditation of CME events?

European Accreditation means the decision by UEMS-EACCME® that a CME activity, event, programme or e-learning material has fulfilled the UEMS-EACCME® quality requirements. A CME activity or e-learning material will be accredited by UEMS-EACCME®


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What role do National Accreditation Authorities play?

National Accreditation Authorities are the competent authorities in the different European countries in charge of accrediting CME event. Through UEMS-EACCME®, these authorities collaborate together in the accreditation process.


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What are ECMECs?

ECMEC® stands for “European Continuing Medical Education Credit”. These credits are granted by UEMS-EACCME® further to a successful accreditation process. They facilitate the exchange of CME credits between European countries, between different specialties and between European credit systems and comparable systems outside Europe.

Which countries do recognise ECMECs?

The UEMS-EACCME® has such agreements with the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Regione Lombardia
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • UK

In addition, the UEMS-EACCME has mutual recognition agreements with the American Medical Association and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, hence covering the North American Region.

European Specialty Examinations

What are the European examinations?

UEMS Specialist Sections and European Boards have developed European Standards in Medical Training and have organized, certain for more than 20 years, European Specialist Examinations in different medical specialties to assess the competence of medical trainees according to these standard.

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What is the legal standing of European Diplomas?

Trainees passing these European Exams receive a European Diploma which proves that they reached a high level of knowledge in their discipline.

Formally, the European Diploma delivered by the UEMS Specialist Sections and European Boards have no legal value as such and cannot grant any rights to their beneficiaries. They are to be considered as marks of excellence.

However, in some countries, given their high quality and the increasing number of trainees taking these examinations, European examinations have been recognised as part of national assessme