Program Description

The FES Program was designed to teach and assess the physiology, anatomy and fundamental knowledge and technical skills required to practice flexible endoscopic surgery of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The FES Program is comprised of an interactive web-based multimedia-enhanced didactic curriculum component and a two-part validated assessment made up of:

  • A web-based multiple choice exam for evaluating cognitive knowledge
  • A virtual reality platform to evaluate fundamental technical and psychomotor skills

FES establishes a standard set of didactic information and manual skills, and serves as a basic curriculum to guide surgical residents, fellows and practicing surgeons in the performance of basic endoscopic surgery.  By mastering the curriculum and skills in this inanimate modality, it is expected that surgical residents and surgeons will initiate and carry out their performance of endoscopy more effectively, with greater skill, greater safety, and lower complication rates.  The specific aim of FES is that the knowledge and skills gained by those who master the FES curriculum will improve the quality and safety of surgical care delivered to their patients.

FES was developed in an effort to establish a validated, core endoscopic curriculum for surgical and gastroenterologic trainees. The didactic program includes 12 web-based, interactive cognitive content chapters covering basic diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy. Extensive peer review for content and accuracy by surgeons and gastroenterologists has been conducted throughout the development of the FES program.

The cognitive test includes 80 questions assessing the understanding and application of the basic fundamentals of endoscopy with as much emphasis as possible on clinical judgment and intra-operative decision-making. Detailed psychometric analysis has been part of the preparation and standard setting process for the cognitive exam.

The manual skills test consists of five simulation exercises that incorporate and represent most of the psychomotor skills necessary for basic endoscopic surgery. The skills assessment modules have been developed after a process of rigorous cognitive task analysis and utilizes the 3D Systems – Simbionix virtual reality platform. The skills incorporated in this element include navigation, loop reduction, targeting, mucosal evaluation, and retroflexion.

Click here for an important information bulletin with a complete description of FES and policies concerning the FES test

Web-Based Study Guide

The online study guide covers didactic materials containing printable text reviews and practice questions.

The didactics are available free-of-charge at

Guide: Users – Viewing Online Content


The assessment component is a two-part, proctored exam that covers cognitive knowledge and manual skills.  Both parts of the exam must be taken in one single test appointment.

The cognitive component is a timed multiple-choice exam administered via computer. It is designed to test the understanding and application of the basic fundamentals of endoscopy with an emphasis on clinical judgment and intraoperative decision-making.

The manual skills component evaluates skills based on efficiency (speed) and precision (accuracy) of the surgeon’s maneuvers using the GI Mentor II, GI Bronch Mentor or GI Mentor Express, all proprietary pieces of hardware developed by 3D Systems – Simbionix. The test consists of five simulation exercises incorporating most of the psychomotor skills necessary for basic GI endoscopic surgery.

Please refer to the following guide for instructions on how to register for the FES exam.  Please note that while it appears you are only registering for the cognitive portion, you are signing up for the manual skills segment of the exam as well

Guide: Online Test Taker Registration

Guide: Cancel or Reschedule a Test Appointment

Score Report and Explanation