The Examination Committee of FESSH was and is responsible for the implementation and further development of the Diploma of the European Board of Hand Surgery (EBHS), formerly the European Diploma in Hand Surgery of the FESSH. In a climate where training in hand surgery is sometimes fragmented, and where not all countries have an official specialist exam in hand surgery, the EBHS diploma allows candidates to demonstrate that they have achieved a standard of knowledge and skill that reflects their training and achievement as specialist hand surgeons. The aim of the exam is to help promote and advance standards, knowledge and excellence in hand surgery.

In addition to the two chairmen, the committee consists of about 30 hand surgeons of the European Society of Hand Surgery. The committee are responsible for writing the MCQ questions and the oral scenarios. This work is done in two meetings a year. The committee also form the board of examiners for the oral examination of the EBHS Diploma, held once a year immediately prior to the FESSH Annual Congress.
The members of the committee are responsible for setting and upholding the standards of the exam, and for maintaining the highest possible transparency and fairness in the evaluation of the candidates. Under successive chairmen the exam has evolved significantly over the past few years. Future developments include the evaluation of a practical component and an increase in the numbers of examiners per candidate from four to six in order to ensure greater objectivity in the evaluation.

The chairmen of the examination committee also represent FESSH at the meetings of CESMA (The Council for European Specialists Medical Assessment), communicate with the (much valued) administration team at FESSH Office, deal with day to day problems, communicate with candidates, screen and assess the applications and set the MCQ paper.



Martin Richter is a general and plastic surgeon and has specialised in Hand Surgery since 1999. He was appointed as the Head of the Department of Hand and Plastic Surgery of the Malteser Hospital in Bonn in 2008.He trained with Peter Brüser, formerly also the chairman of the examination committee (2000-2003). In 2000 he became a member of the FESSH infolink group and from 2005 to 2007 he was the German FESSH delegate. He joined the Examination Committee in 2011, and became the Chairman in 2016. In 2013 he was the chairman of scientific committee of the FESSH Congress in Antalya/Turkey and is the chairman of the Instructional Course of the FESSH Congress in Copenhagen in 2018.Martin organizes the Instructional Courses of the German Society for Hand Surgery (DGH) twice a year. In 2016 he was President of the DGH. He is especially interested in wrist surgery and arthroscopy, in CMC1 osteoarthritis and in Dupuytren’s Disease.


Lindsay Muir is a hand surgeon in Manchester, UK.  He trained with Dr Guy Foucher in Strasbourg, France, at Wrightington with Prof John Stanley and in Manchester with Mr Stewart Watson.  He now in turn has the pleasure and privilege of being a trainer for the Manchester ATP fellows. His interests are in joint replacement and in systemic sclerosis.He is the current chairman of the BSSH Instructional Courses in Hand Surgery. He has greatly enjoyed contributing to the development of the EBHS diploma exam, of which he is now the co chairman.


Applying for the European Board of Hand Surgery Diploma Examination requires meeting strict conditions, such as submitting a log book completing all the questionnaires included. By rewieving the submitted documents, the Committee can decide if the applicant fulfills these requirements. Basic criteria is a speciality in orthopeadics or plastic surgery and a minimum of 2 years activity in one of the accreditated hand surgery centers. It is important to have a proper number of operations as operator or first assistant. Also it is expected to have a scientific activity and the recommendation of the national society for surgery of the hand.
»  Application for the exam was available only for member societies of FESSH previously
»  IFSSH members are also eligible to sit the Diploma from 2008

Candidates could use 5 major European languages by 2006, from then on the official language of the exam is English. The European Board of Hand Surgery Diploma Examination includes a written test by completing an MCQ test and two oral sessions. One of them considers acute trauma and reconstruction, the other is sistemic diseases, tumors and congenitals.

There are 80-100 registrations of interest each year, of which 60-80 are accepted. An average of 10-20% fails, but the rest passes the exam successfully. The candidate achieving the best result is awarded by the Committee.

We proudly announce that CESMA has awarded this Certificate of Merit to EBHS Exam conducted by FESSH as a recognition of its high standard.


The Best Examination Award is published in the Journal of Hand Surgery (European volume) with a picture of the awarded examinee and with a list of the others passing the exam. According to the decision made by the FESSH Council in 2011, the Best Examination Awardee will be entitled for free registration and 3 nights’ accommodation at a 3-star hotel at the next FESSH Congress.

The Examination includes a written and an oral part. From 2013 the written part is separated from the oral part and will be held 2-3 months before the annual congress. The oral part takes place at the site of the annual FESSH Congress 2 days prior to the event and with the participation of 10-15 volunteering examiners invited from the countries of the examinees. It is our main intention to provide at least one examiner for each candidate speaking the same native language. When inviting examiners, we consider first of all their scientific activity. Examiners of younger age are requested to have a Diploma and a recommendation of the FESSH Delegate of their national society.

More information:
The European board of hand surgery examination by Calcagni M. in Journal of Hand Surgery European Vol. 2013 Jul;38(6):692-5. doi: 10.1177/1753193413488491.

Martin Richter

Lindsay Muir


Year Venue Examination Committee Chair
2019 Berlin, Germany Martin Richter
2018 Copenhagen, Denmark Martin Richter
2017 Budapest, Hungary Martin Richter
2016 Santander, Spain Maurizio Calcagni
2015 Brescia, Italy Maurizio Calcagni
2014 Paris, France Maurizio Calcagni
2013 Antalya, Turkey Maurizio Calcagni
2012 Antwerp, Belgium Maurizio Calcagni
2011 Oslo, Norway Maurizio Calcagni
2010 Bucharest, Romania Zsolt Szabó
2009 Poznan, Poland Zsolt Szabó
2008 Lausanne, Switzerland Zsolt Szabó
2007 Athens, Greece Zsolt Szabó
2006 Glasgow, UK Massimo Ceruso
2005 Göteborg, Sweden Massimo Ceruso
2004 Budapest, Hungary Massimo Ceruso
2003 Lisbon, Portugal Peter Brüser
2002 Amsterdam, Netherlands Peter Brüser
2001 cancelled Peter Brüser
2000 Barcelona, Spain Peter Brüser
1999 Bonn, Germany Ann Nachemson
1998 Vienna, Austria Ann Nachemson
1997 Bologna, Italy Ann Nachemson
1996 Paris, France W.A. Souter / Alfred Berger