To optimize and standardize musculoskeletal ultrasonography education for rheumatologists, there is a need for competency assessments addressing the required training and practical and theoretical skills. Because of the increasing use of MSUS in rheumatology, there has been a focus over the past years on training.
A minimum training requirements are described by The European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB) where a 3 levels competency assessment (COMPASS) has been developed for rheumatologists, including an in-detail description of what theoretical and practical competencies to be acquired at each level with a related log book (1). The rheumatology-COMPASS levels are closely related to the levels of the EULAR MSUS courses, thereby ensuring that the content is supported by already provided courses such as the EULAR and EULAR-endorsed MSUS courses to facilitate the implementation of the rheumatology-COMPASS. In COMPASS level 1 the course contents resemble the EULAR MSUS basic and intermediate courses, level 2 resembles the EULAR MSUS advanced course whereas level 3 requires attendance in a “teach-the- teachers course” or experience as a teacher in at least 2 international MSUS courses. Level 3 also includes an academic level requiring research activity and acceptance of level 1 and 2 sonographers for training.
The EULAR MSUS courses have been organized since 1998 and the interest in these courses has been increasing. In 2007, the first 3 level EULAR MSUS course was conducted with great success and the 3 level courses (basic, intermediate and advanced) have been running ever since in relation to the EULAR congress, focusing mainly on the relevant content on the individual levels and the distribution between practical and theoretical skills.
EULAR has developed the following competence levels; level 1 and 2. The EULAR level 1 competency includes the performance of EULAR Online MSUS course and attendance to basic, intermediate and advanced MSUS courses, where attending the intermediate and advanced courses require a certain number of US examinations (however, if already reached COMPASS level 1, 2 or 3, there is no need of images for the EULAR courses), and the advanced course requires in addition to pass a practical examination. The EULAR level 2 competency is organized to ensure a minimum level of US knowledge for teachers in MSUS courses (2). This level includes the EULAR Teach the Teachers course as well as passing a theoretical and practical examination. Since there is a growing number of EULAR endorsed MSUS courses, it is of highly importance that the teachers in these courses have equal qualifications thereby providing comparable training and competencies beneficial for the clinical use of US. Information about the competence requirements is found at the EULAR website (http://www.EULAR.org).
Disclosure of Interest None declared