Hand surgery is a discipline which requires a high degree of specialization. Before becoming a hand surgeon, most of us are trained in a more basic surgical field. Therefore, hand surgeons are mainly structured in Plastic or Orthopaedic/Trauma surgery schools today.

The aim of the Relationship Committee is to promote hand surgery within European societies of these specialized fields, to coordinate teaching, training and meetings in hand surgery together with these other societies.

Furthermore, the Relationship Committee aims to support all structures which are related to the recognition of hand surgery within the European structures.

Lars Dahlin
Chairman, Relationship Committee

Download the updated version of the White Book on Hand Surgery in Europe


– to get hand surgery recognized in Europe as a <particular qualification>
– to define the training and examination requirements

First action

Recognition of hand surgery by the UEMS (Union of European Medical Specialties), including by its Plastic, Orthopaedic and General Surgery sections

1st meeting with UEMS in Brussels, Jan 2008

– Hand surgery recognized as a particular competence
– Activation of UEMS Multidisciplinary Joint Committee (MJC) in Hand Surgery
– FESSH recognized as the representative of European hand surgeons

2nd meeting with UEMS, Lausanne, June 2008

– Presentation of some actions of FESSH (training, examination, trauma)
– Request to produce a “document” on hand surgery
– Officers elected at MJC : T. Raatikainen (Chairman), F. Schuind (FESSH representative)

3rd MJC meeting (Budapest, Sept 2008)

– MJC hand surgery added to UEMS website
– Acknowledgement by UEMS of FESSH examination
. “UEMS MJC European Board in Hand Surgery”
. Poznan : “FESSH and European Board of Hand Surgery Examination”
. 2010 : “European Board of Hand Surgery Examination”
. Procedure of accreditation of future FESSH meetings

Elaboration of “White Book” on Hand Surgery in Europe (first half of 2009)


4th MJC meeting (Brussels, Feb 2009 – M Ceruso and Z Szabo)

– First presentation of White Book
– Comment by UEMS (S Sourmelis) : expand the training and qualification sections ? D. Warwick has been working on an “European Curriculum for Hand Surgery” document

5th MJC meeting (Brussels – June 2009 – M Ceruso, Z Szabo and F Schuind)

– Further activation of Hand Surgery MJC, part of a general section grouping all surgical specialties
– Discussion about examination, FESSH meetings’ accreditation and new version of White Book

6th MJC meeting (Istambul – Oct 2009 – M Ceruso and T Raatikainen)

– General presentation of the white book

7th MJC meeting (Brussels – Jan 2010 – M Ceruso, T Raatikainen, F Schuind)

– Presentation of the white book
. Suggestions of revision
. Main concern of UEMS representatives of plastic and orthopaedic surgery : demarcation of the particular competence, given the fact that some general procedures are still performed by plastic, general or orthopaedic surgeons
. Agreement to revise the white book, delaying the submission of the white book to the UEMS sections and boards and council meetings, originally planned for March and April 2010
. Further discussions about examination, accreditation and UEMS website

8th MJC meeting (Bucharest – June 2010)

. Creation of European Board of Hand Surgery, formed equally by MJC and FESSH representatives (to be endorsed by the UEMS council meeting, which will take place in Prague, Oct 2010)
. Political representation of hand surgeons in Europe
. Future examinations organized by the Board (including UEMS plastic, orthopaedic and general surgeons delegates), with logo’s of FESSH and UEMS
. Approval of the revised version of the white book with minor changes
. Particular qualification instead of particular competence
. Accreditation of Bucharest FESSH meeting

European Board of Hand Surgery (EBHS)
UEMS Council (Prague October 9. 2010)

The European Board of Hand Surgery (EBHS), formed by the MJC on Hand Surgery and the European Federation of the Societies of Hand Surgery (FESSH), initiated in 2010, was endorsed as well as the White Book on Hand Surgery in Europe.

Other UEMS meetings

– UEMS meeting of Presidents and Secretaries, Brussels, Saturday March 13, 2010
. The majority of medical specialties are MJC (ex paediatric allergology, genetics, orthopaediatry, breast surgery etc) – true specialists have become a minority
. Harmonization credits Europe-USA
. UEMS participaption in the revision of the 2005 and 2006 EU directives (general frame of mobility, promoting competition and free marker in Europe); UEMS to particularly defend training and particular comptences