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Standing Committee for Education and Training
  1. J A P da Silva
  1. Chairman of the EULAR Standing Committee for Education and Training

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    The VII EULAR Postgraduate Course in Rheumatology took place in Budapest from the 22 to 27 September 2002. The faculty included over 30 highly renowned scientists and clinicians from Europe and North America. The audience comprised 96 doctors (mostly rheumatology trainees) coming from almost all the European countries and from Africa and the Middle and Far East. An evaluation of the course was published in the

    It was planned that the 2003 course should take place in Istanbul, this September, but owing to the war in Iraq it has been postponed to September 2004.


    We have expanded our Training Bursaries Programme: 10 such bursaries are now offered twice a year, each supported with up to €7000.

    The number of Travel Bursaries to the Annual Congress, sponsored with up to €1500, has now been increased to 50 a year.

    Both these programmes are directed towards young European rheumatologists, with preference being given to countries with special economic and educational needs.

    We have started a Visiting Professor Programme, with 10 bursaries a year, each supported by up to €7000. We have received only one application so far this year and would appreciate your help in making this exciting opportunity widely known.


    The committee now has three special interest working groups.

    Online education

    The On-line EducationWorking Group, chaired by Professor Bernard Duquesnoy from France, is finalising work on a European joint venture to launch a EULAR web course on “Inflammatory rheumatic and systemic diseases”. A proposal will be submitted to the EULAR executive committee shortly.

    Undergraduate education

    The Undergraduate Education Working Group, chaired by Professor Michael Doherty from the United Kingdom, is currently organising a “Teach the teachers” course to take place in 2004.


    The EURORITS Working Group, chaired by Dr Suzanne Lane from the United Kingdom, brings together all the young representatives on our committee. They had their first independent meeting at the 2003 EULAR Congress, and we hope they will give us vital support in identifying and helping to solve the main problems faced by rheumatologists in training around Europe.


    The Education Committee was given the task of coordinating and monitoring EULAR courses dedicated to several educational objectives. We were directly involved in setting the scientific content of the VIIthEULAR Sonography Course, which took place in Rome in October, the 3rd EULAR Clinical Skills Course, which took place in Copenhagen in September, and the 1st EULAR Course on SLE, organised in cooperation with Professor Stefano Bombardieri, which was held in Italy in August.

    All these courses were intensive and interactive in their design and specially oriented towards the young rheumatologist. Two other courses, one on capillaroscopy and one on systemic sclerosis are currently being evaluated.

    In agreement with the executive committee, EULAR gives no financial support to the organisation of these courses but offers a set number of scholarships to attendees.


    The Education Committee will continue to cooperate with the European Union of Specialist Physicians (UEMS) whose rheumatology board, now chaired by Professor Anthony Wolf, is seeking new and higher standards of qualification and continuous medical education for European rheumatology.

    The Standing Committee for Education and Training has continued to expand its work since the last General Assembly. One of the major difficulties we face in our work relates to contacting and nominating representatives of the different national societies. All the national societies are asked to ensure that they have two nominated representatives on this committee—one senior and one junior, representing the trainees. This committee’s work would also be strongly enhanced if these representatives presented an annual report of their work.

    According to the new EULAR regulations, I will continue as chairman of the Education Committee until June 2005, and a new candidate for chairman will be submitted to next year’s General Assembly.

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