Continuing medical education in oncology in Europe

J. P. Armand, A. Costa, J. Geraghty, N. O'Higgins, P. J. Broe, L. Holmberg, D. Th Sleijfer, J. De Toeuf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A European Conference on Continuing Medical Education (CME) in Oncology was designed and organised in Dublin (Ireland), on 12th and 13th October 1995 by the European School of Oncology in collaboration with University College Dublin and with the financial support of the European Commission (Europe Against Cancer Programme). Two experts were invited from each Member State and all attended the Conference with the sole exception of the representatives of Luxembourg, who did not attend due to unexpected important commitments. Observers were invited to contribute to the discussion as representatives of organisations that were involved either directly or indirectly in CME. The Conference took the format of a plenary session coupled with the identification of five discussion groups formed to debate key areas in CME at a European level in oncology (Table 1). As a result of these discussions and subsequent consultations, an agreement was reached on the following statements: Continuing Medical Education (CME) is an ethical duty and an individual responsibility for each doctor. Although CME should remain voluntary at the present time, it is nevertheless a professional obligation since almost 50% of medical knowledge becomes obsolete after ten years. It should be organised with clear guidelines for medical personnel working in hospitals, in primary health care and in private practice. (b) The CME system within the European Union (EU) should remain self-directed without the necessity for interval examinations: it should be interdisciplinary and must be driven and controlled by the profession itself. (c) A common concept and system within a CME framework may have a considerable impact on EU integration. It should certainly be developed, maintained and monitored at national level but on the basis of a common European model to ensure scientific and cultural interchange among Member States. (d) It was agreed that a credit system is needed to help doctors keep track of their CME activities: the system should be based on the accumulation of credit points (one credit equalling one hour of continuing medical education) and monitored at a national level. Credit transfer among Member States is vital to facilitate exchange between Member States. (e) Oncology provides a very useful model of CME within which guidelines can be proposed and tested. Harmonisation of CME systems among the different European cancer organisations and scientific societies within this model system may represent a useful basis that other specialities can follow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1296-1299
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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