Dr Bazil Ateleanu
Chair of the ESAIC Examinations Committee
Dear Examination Committee and Subcommittees Members, Fellow Examiners, Invigilators, Hosts, Candidates and ESAIC Members,
I am writing this article in January 2022, sincerely hoping that, after the challenging 2021, you had at least the opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved ones over the festive period. 2022 is waiting for us all with more and more challenges. As a Chair of the Examinations Committee, I will try to summarise both the achievements and dissatisfactions we encountered in 2021 and to highlight our strategy for 2022.
Unfortunately, OLA 2021, which took place on 16th April, was marred by significant technical problems during the conduct of the assessment, even more than in 2020. As a result of these problems generated by the examination platform at the level of our provider, only about 25% of the candidates succeeded to finish their exam on that day.
Under pressure, we adapted swiftly and were able to offer the remaining candidates remedial options:
- Candidates from countries where OLA was part of the national examination had special days of re-sitting (28 May for The Netherlands and 24 June for Argentina).
- Candidates from other countries were offered the opportunity to take the OLA from the comfort of their own home and computer (the long-awaited Home On-Line Assessment HOLA!) anytime between 28 June and 11 July. Out of 1668 registered for the event, around 1250 candidates completed the OLA in 2021.
Registrations for OLA 2022 are now open. With the 2020 and 2021 experiences in mind, we decided to split OLA 2022 into two sessions: for countries where OLA is part of the national examination (Argentina, Moldova and The Netherlands) the OLA will take place “classically” in centres on 22 April 2022, with physical invigilation. For candidates from other countries, Home On-Line Assessment will take place from 27 April 2022 to 11 May 2022.
The Part I examination took place on 11th September 2021. Learning from the previous technical problems with OLA, the Examinations Committee took the safe decision to run the exam in a paper version only in all EDAIC Part I centres. This edgy decision proved to be the correct one, as all Part I centres ran the exam without any problems. Almost 3000 candidates registered for this exam and 2505 sat the Part I 2021 in 85 centres in 46 countries. We wish to stress that once again this very happy outcome was only made possible thanks to the incredible dedication and flexibility of the Part I Hosts, implementing many complicated measures to ensure conformity to governmental restrictions, the safety of candidates and invigilators alike and maintaining a high threshold of invigilation.
The candidate who scores the highest combined mark in the Part I Examination is awarded the John Zorab prize. I am delighted to announce that this year’s winner is Dr Anastasios Antonogiannakis, from Greece. He is currently training at the Evangelismos Hospital of Athens. Many congratulations to Dr Antonogiannakis.
There were several new Part I centres, including Bergen, Norway (Ib Jammer), Dhaka, Bangladesh (A K M Akhtaruzzaman), Izmir, Turkey (Bahar Kuvaki), Kochi, India (Shyam Sundar P), Leuven, Belgium (Marc Van Velde).
The Examinations Committee aims to open more Part I seats in 2022 in the existing centres but also in new centres to make sure all interested candidates could register for Part I in 2022. Part I 2022 will take place on 10th September 2022 and registrations will open in March 2022 on the ESAIC website.
Following a generalised ESAIC Board policy taken late in December 2020, the Part II Exam had to adapt to a purely online format. Using a simplified scoring algorithm, without the use of the cumbersome telephone app, we succeeded to run 18 Part II exams during the year, more than in the previous year. Due to excellent management, in the second part of 2021, we succeeded to examine as many online candidates as in a physical exam (3 batches per session instead of 2).
More than 1200 candidates registered for Part II 2021 and a record of 908 candidates sat Part II, thanks to the efforts of 250 examiners from different countries who gave up their free time mainly over the weekends, examining on a totally voluntary basis. This couldn’t be achieved without the sterling work of the ESAIC staff, to which we are all, examiners and examinees, so grateful.
In a similar fashion with Part I, the candidate with maximum scores throughout Part II (truly outstanding!) receives the Sir Peter Simpson Award. I am proud to announce that the winner of the Sir Peter Simpson Prize for the best answer in the EDAIC Part II 2021 is Dr Jonas David Keuler from the Marien hospital in Stuttgart, Germany. Many congratulations to Dr Keuler!
The Part II 2022 registrations have opened in January 2022, with 1440 seats open, the highest number of seats ever offered for Part II. This resulted in the record number of 1336 registrations for this year’s Part II examination and the start of a proactive recruitment campaign for new examiners. Part II will be offered online and on-site for some centres, depending on the pandemic situation.
It is my absolute pleasure to wholeheartedly thank everybody involved in the exams for their exceptional contribution to the general success of EDAIC 2021, especially during the pandemic.