Newsletter, November 2020

Dear EBO examiners,

As we all are aware, the year 2020 was very unfortunate for many activities and events in ophthalmology, including the EBO exam. It is our 25th anniversary and we were planning to celebrate it with two sites for the exam: Spring in Paris in partnership with SFO and Autumn in Berlin in partnership with DOG. The situation did not allow to run either of those planned events, although we kept the options open almost to the last moment.

In the meantime, the EBO worked on plan B. As a result of this a pilot, hybrid exam will run in Switzerland on 14-th of November 2020. The exam is called hybrid, because it would allow simultaneous performance in remote centres while keeping the established format with 52 MCQ and 4 Viva voce stations. The difference is that the MCQ will be provided via secure platform (not on paper), however, the structure and time will be the same. The Viva voce will include one on site and one on line examiner for the same 4 topics and will again keep the timing, the structure and the format. The exam will be assessed and accredited by CESMA, which in case of success will be a solid ground for future replication.

The next step would be to organize the wider exams, which will certainly be in 2021. The exams might be as already established in case the pandemic settles down, or in partnership with more National Societies as plan B. The exams will be open for already assigned candidates, as well for those who would like to register for 2021. As the situation is difficult for planning, the EBO National Representatives decided to offer a monthly newsletter for voluntary subscription. The newsletter will provide each potential candidate with the latest developments and will keep everyone interested in EBO exam informed. We cannot predict the future in these unprecedented times. Time will tell whether EBO must run more virtual exams in order to be protected from external factors like pandemics, terrorism or natural catastrophes.

The EBO appreciates the patience of the candidates and the readiness of the examiners to support the fastest possible developments in order to address the need for sitting the exam for many young European trainees in ophthalmologists.

We all hope that we can make it together!

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