Differences and similarities in rheumatology specialty training programmes across European countries

Francisca Sivera, Sofia Ramiro, Nada Cikes, Maxime Dougados, Laure Gossec, Tore K. Kvien, Ingrid E. Lundberg, Peter Mandl, Arumugam Moorthy, Sonia Panchal, José A P Da Silva, Johannes W. Bijlsma, Gerd R. Burmester, Ledio Collaku, Armine Aroyan, Helga Radner, Anastasyia Tushina, Ellen De Langhe, Sekib Sokolovic, Russka ShumnalievaMarko Baresic, Ladislav Senolt, Mette Holland-Fischer, Mart Kull, Antti Puolitaival, Khatuna Letsveridze, Axel Hueber, Antonis Fanouriakis, Paul MacMullan, Doron Rimar, Serena Bugatti, Julija Zepa, Jeanine Menasssa, Diana Karpec, Snezana Misevska-Percinkova, Karen Cassar, Elena Deseatnicova, Sander Tas, Espen Haavardsholm, Jan Sznajd, Florian Berghea, Elena Trifonova, Ivica Jeremic, Vanda Mlynarikova, Mojca Frank-Bertoncelj, Aikaterina Chatzidionysiou, Alexandre Dumusc, Gulen Hatemi, Erhan Ozdemirel, Iuliia Biliavska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1187
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Medicine(all)


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