Objectives To analyse the similarities and discrepancies between the official rheumatology specialty training programmes across Europe.
Methods A steering committee defined the main aspects of training to be assessed. In 2013, the rheumatology official training programmes were reviewed for each of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) countries and two local physicians independently extracted data on the structure of training, included competencies and assessments performed. Analyses were descriptive.
Results 41 of the 45 EULAR countries currently provide specialist training in rheumatology; in the remaining four rheumatologists are trained abroad. 36 (88%) had a single national curriculum, one country had two national curricula and four had only local or university-specific curricula. The mean length of training programmes in rheumatology was 45 (SD 19) months, ranging between 3 and 72 months. General internal medicine training was mandatory in 40 (98%) countries, and was performed prior to and/or during the rheumatology training programme (mean length: 33 (19) months). 33 (80%) countries had a formal final examination.
Conclusions Most European countries provide training in rheumatology, but the length, structure, contents and assessments of these training programmes are quite heterogeneous. In order to promote excellence in standards of care and to support physicians’ mobility, a certain degree of harmonisation should be encouraged.
- Health services research
- Qualitative research
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