European College of Equine Internal Medicine

The Components of the examinations

Individuals gaining Diplomate status via the examination route must

  1. be able to demonstrate adequate training and an active involvement in the clinical practice of equine internal medicine
  2. have a suitable publication record
  3. pass the examination offered by the Board of ECEIM

The ECEIM Diplomate examination is held every year, usually in January/early February and includes written and oral questions on clinical internal medicine, underpinning sciences and case-management problems. There are two phases to the examinations

1. The general examinations

The general examination consists of two papers the scores of which are combined. Each paper consists of multiple choice type questions (they may also include calculation, true/false formats).

  1. The general G1 paper considers concepts relating to the medical and biological sciences that underpin clinical practice of internal medicine (for example pharmacology, microbiology, physiology, pathology, epidemiology, diagnostic imaging)
  2. The general G2 paper considers a candidates clinical knowledge and ability to address specific clinical problems
    Candidates must achieve the overall pass mark for the general examination with the scores from each paper being combined

Passing the general examinations

The pass mark for the general examination is set by the examination committee who consider a modified Angoff approach for considering the score that would be achieved by the ‘minimally competent new diplomate’ as well the performance of each question by the cohort of candidates. This ensures that it is possible for all candidates to pass the examination.
Candidates may complete the general examination once they have completed 18 months of an approved residency training programme before the completion of their certifying credentials.

2. The certifying examinations

The certifying examination comprises three components each standing alone. 

  1. The certifying multiple choice examinations (delivered electronically) considers multiple choice type questions and has a particular emphasis on a candidates ability to approach clinical case scenarios.
  2. The case management examination (delivered electronically) consists of advanced questions formats including multiple response type questions and short answer questions and considers the candidates approach to FIVE cases by using clinical case progression.
    • Candidates are prevented from being affected by ‘subsequent error’ by having information presented in a linear manner without the ability to change previous responses.

    • Each case has approximately 10 possible points, ensuring equal weighting between cases. 

    • There are five cases and scores are accumulated to achieve an overall score out of 50. The pass mark is based on this overall performance, not individual cases.

  3. The clinical judgement examination (delivered as a viva voce examination) assess the candidates ability to justify their clinical decision making in the approach to FOUR cases.
  • Justification of valid clinical decisions is more important than the specific clinical decision.
  • Candidates may be asked to consider clinical and or research data in preparation for each component of the examination.
  • There are four cases / scenarios and scores are accumulated to achieve an overall score. The pass mark is based on this overall performance, not individual scenarios.

Passing the certifying examinations

  • Candidates must achieve the pass mark for each of the three components of the certifying examination. There is no cross compensation between components of the certifying examination, although as described above each case does not need to be passed within each component of the examination (Case management and clinical judgement)
  • The pass mark for the certifying MCQ is determined by the examination committee based on the same methods as for the general examination.
  • The pass mark for the case management is established using similar standard setting technique together with concurrence with a panel of diplomates.
  • The pass mark for the case management examination is set using descriptors (a modified book marking method) to define the minimally competent new diplomate. Specifically, it uses the median score between the definition of a competent new diplomate and an advanced general practitioner.


The certifying examination can only be attempted by candidates who have completed all of the requirements set out above through approval of credentials. It is expected that candidates will attempt all parts of the certifying examination together at their first attempt.

In any subsequent attempt candidates will be expected to attempt any previously unsuccessful attempt. It is not possible to choose to take individual components.