Points to consider: EULAR-UEMS standards for the training of European rheumatologists

Alessia Alunno, Tadej Avcin, Catherine Haines, Sofia Ramiro, Francisca Sivera, Sara Badreh, Xenofon Baraliakos, Johannes W J Bijlsma, Frank Buttgereit, Kaushik Chaudhuri, Jose A P Da Silva, Jean Dudler, Ricardo J O Ferreira, Tania E Gudu, Eric Hachulla, Mette Holland-Fischer, Annamaria Iagnocco, Tue W Kragstrup, György Nagy, Vasco C RomãoSimon R Stones, Marloes van Onna, Christopher J Edwards*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1107-1113
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Correction to the article has been published here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ard-2023-223941corr1


  • outcome and process assessment, health care
  • patient care team
  • qualitative research


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