ESMO Examination for Medical Oncologists

2015 exam results will be available at the beginning of December 2015. All participants will be notified by e-mail.

The 2015 ESMO examination took place on Saturday 26 September 2015 during the European Cancer Congress in Vienna, Austria. Parallel sessions were held in: Cairo, Egypt; Berlin, Germany; Chennai, India and Olten, Switzerland.

Registration for the 2016 examination

The main session of the 2016 examination will take place on 8 October 2016 during the ESMO 2016 Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark. Registration will open mid-January 2016. The ESMO examination is open to ESMO Full and Junior members, members of the AIO and DGHO (Germany) and members of the FMH (Switzerland).

About the exam

The ESMO examination is a valuable assessment tool for practising medical oncologists and an excellent opportunity for medical oncologists in training to assess their knowledge. The ESMO Examination is the written part of the Board Certification in Medical Oncology in Switzerland and Slovenia. In all other countries the ESMO Examination certifies an excellent knowledge in the field of Medical Oncology according to the criteria of the European Society for Medical Oncology. The ESMO Examination has no legal standing since only national authorities can grant physicians the right to practice.

Successful candidates will be certified for five years. After five years recertification can be attained either by re-taking the ESMO Examination (on passing, recertification is valid for a further five years) or for ESMO members participation in the ESMO Medical Oncologist’s Recertification Approval (MORA) which is a proof of continuing medical education – allowing ESMO members to remain certified in medical oncology. If approved, the recertification is also valid for five years.

CME points

The ESMO Examination is accredited with 50 category 1 ESMO-MORA CME points.

Examination format

Questions cover all fields of medical oncology, including: basic elements of tumour path histology, epidemiology and biology. Besides all cancer types, the ESMO Examination includes practice-oriented issues on diagnosis, staging, management, evaluation and prognosis of cancer patients.

  • Written examination of 150 minutes
  • 100 multiple choice questions are divided as follows:
    • 60 type A questions
    • 20 type B questions
    • 20 type K questions
  • Pass score: according to the Rasch procedure, the pass score will fluctuate around 60% (empirically ± 5% than in previous years) to keep exam difficulty comparable from year to year

Preparing for the examination

To prepare for the ESMO examination, we recommend that applicants follow scientific updates published in the major oncology journals, including Annals of Oncology, and other educational material produced by ESMO.

The OncologyPRO Tumour Knowledge Portal groups ESMO resources according to the disease or the topic area and will help you find the educational material more easily.

Webcasts from the ESMO Academy 2015 can also be accessed via OncologyPRO. (ESMO members and event attendees)

Privacy policy

No information about the ESMO Examination's results will be communicated to third parties unless authorised by the candidate and only if requested.

ESMO examination 2014

Read the report from the 2014 ESMO Examination

Examination analysis

ESMO Examination analysis is powered by the University of Bern, Switzerland. Representatives from the Institute for Medical Education of the University of Bern have acknowledged the authority of the ESMO Examination and its value as a high-quality assessment tool.