The European Society of Radiology (ESR) has renewed its initiatives to harmonise medical training for radiologists across Europe. Following advocacy on the part of the radiology community, in close coordination with the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), after the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive in 2013, the current political climate offers new opportunities for adapting the legal framework regulating the free movement of doctors and recognition of professional qualifications.
Considering the ongoing evaluation of the Professional Qualifications Directive, the ESR brings again to the attention of the European Commission its twofold request to change Annex V, Section 5.1.3. in order to safeguard the highest standards of medical training and patient care throughout Europe. Once again, the ESR has joined forces with the UEMS, the authority on medical education in Europe, demonstrating its continuous commitment to collaborating with partner organisations on the harmonisation of medical education.
In an official letter submitted to the European Commission, the ESR strongly urges the European Commission to adopt a delegated act to increase the minimum years of training for radiologists from four to five years, in full compliance with the European Training Curriculum for Radiology that was developed to further harmonise radiology education throughout Europe. Growing training needs and the introduction of digital solutions in medical imaging require equally high standards of training that can only be met by implementing a full-fledged five-year radiology training.
In addition, the ESR calls on the Member States and the European Commission to change the name of the discipline from “Diagnostic Radiology” to “Radiology”, reflecting the profession’s current practice comprising both diagnostic and interventional procedures. As Member States hold the competence to unilaterally enter the name of a profession into Annex V, individual Member States are strongly encouraged to unilaterally enter “Radiology” as the name of the discipline as a first step towards harmonisation. Nevertheless, the ESR believes that an EU-wide solution is needed and therefore urges the Member States and the European Commission to enter into dialogue in the interest of the free movement of radiologists in Europe.
The ESR supports a multi-layered approach, simultaneously launching initiatives at national and EU levels, to strengthen the voice of radiology in the debate. Therefore, the ESR counts on the national radiological societies to be the messenger of the unified radiology position towards national Ministries of Health and health authorities. Only a coordinated approach involving the ESR and its institutional members can lead to the highest standards and a true harmonisation of radiology training and enhance the mobility of the radiology profession in Europe.