Background Postgraduate rheumatology training programmes are already established at a national level in most European countries. However, previous work has highlighted a substantial level of heterogeneity in the organisation and, in part, content of programmes.
Objective To define competences and standards of knowledge, skills and professional behaviours required for the training of rheumatologists.
Methods A European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) task force (TF) of 23 experts, including two members of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) section of rheumatology, was convened. The mapping phase consisted of the retrieval of key documents on specialty training in rheumatology and other related specialties across a broad set of international sources. The content of these documents was extracted and represented the foundation for the document draft that underwent several rounds of online discussion within the TF, and afterwards was also distributed to a broad group of stakeholders for collecting feedback. The list of generated competences was voted on during the TF meetings, while the level of agreement (LoA) with each statement was established by anonymous online voting.
Results A total of 132 international training curricula were retrieved and extracted. In addition to the TF members, 253 stakeholders commented and voted on the competences through an online anonymous survey. The TF developed (1) an overarching framework indicating the areas that should be addressed during training, (2) 7 domains defining broad areas that rheumatology trainees should master by the end of the training programme, (3) 8 core themes defining the nuances of each domain and (4) 28 competences that trainees should acquire to cover each of the areas outlined in the overarching framework. A high LoA was achieved for all competences.
Conclusion These points to consider for EULAR–UEMS standards for the training of European rheumatologists are now defined. Their dissemination and use can hopefully contribute to harmonising training across European countries.
- outcome and process assessment, health care
- patient care team
- qualitative research
Data availability statement
Data sharing is not applicable as no datasets are generated and/or analysed for this study.
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Handling editor Josef S Smolen
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Contributors All authors contributed to this work and approved the final version of the manuscript. CJE acts as guarantor and is responsible for the overall content.
Funding The project was funded by the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (grant number EDU049).
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Competing interests None declared.
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