A survey of anatomical items relevant to the practice of rheumatology: pelvis, lower extremity, and gait
BACKGROUND The aim of this project was to analyze and compare the educational experience in rheumatology specialty training programs across European countries, with a focus on self-reported ability. METHOD An electronic survey was designed to assess the training experience in terms of self-reported ability, existence of formal education, number of patients managed and assessments performed during rheumatology training in 21 core competences including managing specific diseases, generic competences and procedures. The target population consisted of rheumatology trainees and recently certified rheumatologists across Europe. The relationship between the country of training and the self-reported ability or training methods for each competence was analyzed through linear or logistic regression, as appropriate. RESULTS In total 1079 questionnaires from 41 countries were gathered. Self-reported ability was high for most competences, range 7.5-9.4 (0-10 scale) for clinical competences, 5.8-9.0 for technical procedures and 7.8-8.9 for generic competences. Competences with lower self-reported ability included managing patients with vasculitis, identifying crystals and performing an ultrasound. Between 53 and 91 % of the trainees received formal education and between 7 and 61 % of the trainees reported limited practical experience (managing ≤10 patients) in each competence. Evaluation of each competence was reported by 29-60 % of the respondents. In adjusted multivariable analysis, the country of training was associated with significant differences in self-reported ability for all individual competences. CONCLUSION Even though self-reported ability is generally high, there are significant differences amongst European countries, including differences in the learning structure and assessment of competences. This suggests that educational outcomes may also differ. Efforts to promote European harmonization in rheumatology training should be encouraged and supported.