EULAR-UEMS standards may aid in harmonizing postgraduate rheumatologist training programs

Programs for postgraduate rheumatology training outline the information, abilities, and behaviors necessary for clinicians to become specialists in rheumatology. While some countries may have a standardized approach, in others, the content and delivery of these programs may vary among regions and training providers. Furthermore, there are differences between countries. Therefore, it is essential to establish a European standard that defines the essential elements, as specialists often relocate and work in different countries.

The article, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, led to the creation of the new European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) points to consider, which follows the EULAR standard operating procedures. This study aimed to synchronize training across Europe and ultimately establish a common standard of professional knowledge, abilities, and conduct for future rheumatologists. Researchers from the EULAR task force and the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) examined 132 different training programs to identify commonalities and variances. Based on this analysis, they established a set of required knowledge, abilities, and behaviors for rheumatology trainees.

Through an online anonymous survey, 253 stakeholders, in addition to the task force members, provided feedback and cast their votes on the competencies. Experts created a comprehensive framework that outlines the topics to be covered during training. This framework consists of seven domains that outline the broad topics that rheumatology trainees should master by the end of their training program. Within these domains, there are eight core themes that provide specific details for each domain. Additionally, there are 28 competencies that trainees should develop to cover each topic mentioned in the broad framework.

The report also emphasizes the importance of promoting good communication and interdisciplinary teamwork. It outlines the requirement for training in forming connections with patients and colleagues to enhance communication skills. Research and training are included as the final domain to ensure that individuals are capable of critically evaluating research and effectively communicating relevant information to patients and colleagues. This domain also supports their career-long learning plans and continuing medical education.

The inclusion of these additional points aims to foster the synchronization of training across Europe, with the goal of establishing a shared standard of professional knowledge, abilities, and conduct among future rheumatologists.

Reference

  1. Alunno A, Avcin T, Haines C, Ramiro S, Sivera F, Badreh S, Baraliakos X, Bijlsma JW, Buttgereit F, Chaudhuri K, Da Silva JA. Points to consider: EULAR–UEMS standards for the training of European rheumatologists. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2023 May 15.
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