Update: UEMS adopts new European Training Requirements for Emergency Medicine

 The European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) has approved  new training requirements for clinicians working in emergency medicine (EM). The European Training  Requirement (ETR) is, essentially, the curriculum for physicians dealing with all health emergencies in adult and paediatric patients. The ETR is intended  to strengthen training in EM across the board, and defines the skills and capabilities needed to work as a specialist in EM.

 The document was unanimously approved by all of the National Medical Associations at the UEMS council in April along with approval from the UEMS specialist Sections and Boards.  This is particularly important as it ensures the approval and support of all specialties for the scope of practice of emergency medicine and the role EM plays in healthcare in Europe. The document defines clearly the key working relationships with other specialties and emphasises the need to work as collaborators and partners with colleagues to provide the best care for patients. The document includes descriptions of the professional skills required, including those of educator, scholar, communicator, collaborator and leader.

 The document was written by a group comprised of members of the UEMS Section and Board for Emergency Medicine, the EUSEM education committee and the young Emergency Medicine doctors. This group worked for 18 months on updating and refreshing the existing ETR and is delighted to have achieved unanimous approval for it.

 The ETR is clearly vital to the care of all patients, but is particularly important in relation to caring for emergencies in children, where a recent survey has shown significant gaps in child health training across Europe. The ETR now states explicitly that at least 20% of the five- year minimum training in EM should be spent in dealing with paediatric emergencies. It is hoped that by standardising the training required, reduce  variation in the care provided to children in emergency departments will be reduced,  as well as inequalities in healthcare.

 “This ETR publication is timely and coincides with a paper in  the European Journal of Emergency Medicine* that reports the results of a survey of all member countries of EUSEM to determine current training in paediatric emergency medicine. Results from the survey showed that while the total time spent in emergency medicine training in European countries was generally adequate, paediatric EM training took up a very small proportion of that time – from one to 11 months. The new ETR should lead to an improvement in this ratio in the future,” says Dr Ruth Brown, from the Department of Emergency Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital, President of the UEMS emergency medicine section, and a co-author of the paper.

 It is important that trainees work with paediatric specialists to improve their skills and competencies, says the paper’s first author, Dr Ruud G. Nijman, from the Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital. London, UK. “More work needs to be done to improve the confidence and competence of clinicians in dealing with acutely injured and unwell children, and the new version of the training requirements are an important step forward in that respect.”

 “We welcome the new training requirements as they underline the worth of not just the specialism of paediatric emergency medicine, but emergency medicine as a whole,” said EUSEM President, Dr Jim Connolly.

The new UEMS requirements can be found here

Also read the full article on "Providing urgent and emergency care to children and young people: training requirements for emergency medicine specialty trainees" in EJEM.