Turkish President of the European Plastic Surgery Competence Board

President of the Turkish Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Association, Prof. Dr. Cenk Demirdöver took over the position of President of EBOPAS, the European Board of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

The European Board of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery EBOPRAS exam was once again held in Izmir, which has become the exam center of Europe. Prof. Dr. Cenk Demirdöver, President of the Turkish Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Association, who took over the presidency of EBOPRAS, talked about EBOPRAS and the importance of holding this exam in Izmir.

What is EBOPRAS?

EBOPRAS, the European Board of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, is an exam that can be attended by Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery assistants and all Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery specialists who have completed their fourth year.

EBOPRAS (European Board of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery) was first held in Brussels in 1994. EBOPRAS exams consist of two stages: oral and written. First, a written exam is held, and those who are successful can participate in the oral exam. The written exam is conducted on a computer. A total of 120 questions are asked to candidates in the three-hour written exam. Results to candidates; It is announced as “Pass / Fail”, and the scores are not disclosed in order to avoid discrimination among the candidates.


How is the EBOPRAS exam conducted?

The written exam is held in January and August every year. It used to be held only in Brussels. After the COVID pandemic, we decided to hold the written exam in more than one center. It is currently being held simultaneously in 5 centers in Europe. In Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey. The written exam is the threshold for the oral exam. The oral exam is held twice a year. The April oral exam is held only in Brussels, while the second exam, which is held in October or November, is held in a different country each year.

The European Plastic Surgery Course, which is held before the second oral exam, is an independent course from EBOPRAS. Last year we organized this course in Turkey. 50 speakers from many countries of Europe conveyed all the topics of Plastic Surgery to the trainees for 3 days. After the course, EBOPRAS oral exam was held.

Can everyone who passes the EBOPRAS Exam get their certificate immediately?

At the end of the exam, everyone who exceeds the determined threshold is deemed to have been successful in that exam and a certificate is given to them. If you took this exam while you were an assistant, you receive your certificate of specialization and receive your certificate after you release it.

As TPRECD (Turkish Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Association), we also recognize the European Plastic Surgery Association Board Exam. We also have our own national qualification exam. I served as the Chairman of the TPRECD Qualification Board between 2018-2022. We hold the national qualification exam on the same day, in two stages. Candidates take the written exam in the morning and the practical exam in the afternoon. This Practical exam is held in a different way in Turkey than in Europe. What we call NÖKS is administered as an "Objective, Formal Clinical Exam". In NÖKS, manual dexterity and the ability to apply theoretical knowledge are measured.

How was it possible to chair EBOPRAS on behalf of Turkey, even though we have not yet been officially accepted into the European Union??

Although Turkey is not a member of the European Union, it is a member of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), and therefore Turkey is represented in Europe through the Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery specialty, which is a member of UEMS. European Plastic Surgery Board exams have been held since 1994 and Turkey has been participating in these exams since 2003. I received my EBOPRAS certificate by successfully passing this exam in 2004. Afterwards, I was elected to the EBOPRAS Board of Directors in 2016. I served as the President of the EBOPRAS Accreditation Committee between 2016-2022 and the Vice-President of EBOPRAS between 2018-2022. As of January 1, 2023, I was appointed as the President of EBOPRAS. I am proud to carry out this important task on behalf of our country. We know that concrete and objective criteria are not valid and sufficient for admission to the European Union. But such things do not exist in the scientific community. I consider ourselves lucky because all developments and studies continue only in the light of science.


Why is it important to be successful in the EBOPRAS Exam? Experts can do their profession without EBOPRAS certification, why do they need to take this exam?

This is actually a document that you have achieved certain standards by a registration institution such as a TSE certificate or CE certificate. It can also be defined as a quality certificate showing that an education equivalent to the education standards in Europe has been passed. But of course, this does not mean that people who have not taken the exam are not of these standards.

It's a matter of preference. It should also be noted that passing the EBOPRAS exam does not give the right to work in a country that is a member of UEMS (Union of European Medical Specialists), these rights are given by national authorities in each country. However, in some European countries (Malta, Netherlands, Slovenia and Switzerland), authorities have adopted the EBOPRAS exam as part of their process for granting specialist status in Plastic Surgery. In other countries, this exam is not an alternative to any national exam. However, in some countries, including Turkey, those who pass the EBOPRAS exam are entitled to take their country's national board without taking their own national qualification exam. Since we hold our own national exam in Turkey and we accept the European exam as valid, we give the Turkish Proficiency Certificate to those who are successful in the EBOPRAS exam without the need to take the exam.

The EBOPRAS exam language is English, the written exam is held in English. However, in the oral exam, people who are from Switzerland or Belgium and whose English is not sufficient and whose native language is French can take the exam in French. We have a big team. A group from this team, including me, is on the list to take the French exam. When necessary, we conduct an oral exam in French for candidates who request it.

It is of particular importance that the EBOPRAS exam is held in Izmir. Those who take the exam here would have to take this exam abroad if they did not have the chance to take the exam in Izmir. This means a significant cost financially and temporarily, doesn't it?

Let me tell you how this started. Due to travel restrictions during the COVID period, we were unable to do this exam. However, this is not an arbitrary test for every country. There are a few other countries that give their own qualification certificate to those who, like us, pass the European exam. but there is also the opposite, for example, plastic surgeons trained in Switzerland must take the EBOPRAS exam in order to become a specialist.

During the COVID period, although Switzerland was not a very large country and there were not many plastic surgeons, a group was formed who could not start working because they could not obtain a specialist diploma and therefore lost income. At that time, I was elected as the new vice president of EBOPRAS and I proposed the hybrid exam model. At first, it was not viewed very favorably, but later, as the number of victims gradually increased, hybrid exams began to be applied. The hybrid exam was administered in such a way that one jury member was physically present next to the candidate taking the exam, while the other jury member connected remotely and saw the candidate and the candidate's exam answers with the help of a camera. The fact that these exams are held in Turkey, in Izmir, is actually a great economic advantage. Normally, when this exam was held in Brussels, people had to go to Brussels at least one night before and stay at least two nights, as it would not be possible to pay for the flight and return on the same day. In addition to the exam fee, they also need to add travel and accommodation costs, as well as time costs. For this reason, it is possible for them to take this exam in Izmir with the least cost and time spent.

There are also participants from abroad for the EBOPRAS exam held in Turkey. Which countries do they mostly come from?

Respondents in neighboring countries prefer it more; There are participants from countries such as Azerbaijan, Greece, Pakistan, Egypt, Armenia and so on. In addition to the countries that are easy to reach Turkey, the EBOPRAS exams held in our country are extremely advantageous due to the low costs in Turkey.

Additionally, observers from Europe are not sent to the EBOPRAS exams held in Izmir. We see this as an important and proud indicator of how well we conduct the EBOPRAS exam under proper conditions and at international standards.