Table of content
Venue: Airotel Stratos Vassilikos
Professor Patsouris welcomed the delegates to Athens on his own and Dr. Barbatis' behalf. Prof. Dirk Ruiter gave this thanks to hosts, opened the session at 9.00 a.m. and welcomed the delegates.
Nils-Petter Aardal (NO), Calypso Barbatis (GR), Birgitte Bruun-Rasmussen (DK), Carlo Capella (IT), Olli Carpén (FI), Felix Cruz-Sanchez (Euro-CNS/ES), Claude Cuvelier (BE), Anna Kadar (HU), Peter Kelly (IE), Gisela Kempny (DE), Nigel Kirkham (UK), Arvydas Laurinavicius (LT), Gamze Mocan Kuzey (TR), Javier Pardo (ES), Efstratios Patsouris (EL), Dirk Ruiter (NL) Christer Sundström (SE), Sven Seiwerth (HR), Francoise Thivolet-Bejui (FR), Trine Thorborg (Junior Pathologists/DK), Alain Verhest (Cytology/BE), and Veli-Pekka Lehto (FI)
Apologies for absence:
Cecilie Alfsen (NO), Michael den Bakker (NL), Nesimi Buyukbabani (TR), C. Capesius-Kisliakoff (LU), Enn Joeste (EE), Inga Gudinaviciene (LT), Andres Kulla (EE), Bernard Maillet (USMS), Etienne Marbaix (BE), Robert Maurer (SW), Jaime Prat (ES), Carsten Rygaard (DK), René Scheiden (LU), Roderick Simpson (ESP/UK), Jan G. van den Tweel (NL), James Underwood (UK), Laszlo Vass (HU), Nina Zidar (SI)
The following new delegates were introduced and welcomed: Professor Olli Carpén (Turku, Finland, replacing Professor Eero Saksela), Professor Sven Seiwerth, Zagreb, Croatia, replacing Professor Jasminka Jakic-Razumovic), and Dr. Trine Thorborg (representative of the European Junior Doctor's Association).
The minutes of the Helsinki Meeting (Add 1) were accepted.
Position of the UEMS Section/Boars of Pathology on the following items and matters of importance were discussed based on the memo (Add 2.1) and presentation by Prof. Ruiter.
- Medical regulation
- Amendment of the rules of procedure
As basis for the discussion on Medical Regulation, the draft of the UEMS policy paper "D 06yy draft 1" (Add 2.2) was presented. It was agreed that the policy paper summarizes adequately the various levels of regulation acting on medical profession. It was emphasized that it is in the interest and also falls within the mandate of the Section/Board that the regulatory functions at the personal, team-based and workplace level are appropriately established and their execution promoted. In this regard, a note was also made of some recent examples of incidents in which the current regulatory practices had clearly failed. It was also brought up that the Internet, as a new passageway of medical information, poses new challengies and responsibilities for the medical profession. Dr. Kirkham informed about the plans in the UK to address the professional performane concerns by a procedure based on a critical appraisal by colleagues.
It was decided that a working group is formed with a task to formulate a position paper of the Section/Board concerning Medical Regulation as it reflects on pathology. The members of the group are
- Kirkham (Chair)
The proposed Amendment to the Rules of Procedure (UEMS/03; Add 2.3) was presented as a basis for the discussion on how the proposed procedural changes will affect the function and structure of the Section/Board. The amendments concern the meeting of the Presidents and Secretaries of the Sections and Boards. In the future they will be held each year at the invitation of the Executive Committee. It was agreed that the amendments would have a positive effect in fostering closer connection between the Sections/Boards and the Council.
There was a lively discussion on the recognition/representation of specialties and the role of subsections within the Section/Board. The status and positon of sub-sections is mandated in Chapter VI.9 of the Rules as follows:
A Section may, subject to the agreement of the Council of UEMS, conditional on the majority of the full Members, create one or more sub-sections, under the responsibility of the main Section, devoted to the study, promotion and defence of a branch of the specialty or competence, which forms an integral part of its practice, and involves a recognised higher training program. The type of activity carried out by this branch must be effectively performed, in either exclusive practice or as a competence of the main specialty, by trained specialists. However, a field of practice which crosses the boundaries of more than one specialty cannot compose a sub-section.
If there exists an European professional association or, in default, an European learned society of the related competence, the main Section may invite that association to society to mandate two members. The delegates thus appointed must have the approval of the National Organisation representing their country of origin within UEMS. They would be entitled, as of right, to attend meetings of the parent Section, an an advisory capacity
In the discussion, pros and cons of having sub-sections vis-a-vis no sub-sections or separate sections were presented. Professor Cruz-Sanchez informed about the aims and activities of the European Confederation of Neuropathological Societies (Euro-CNS).
It was affirmed with Dr. Thivolet dissenting that neuropathology and cytopathology are recognized as sub-sections within the Section/Board. It was decided that two working groups are appointed to address the position and role of cytopathology and neuropathology as sub-sections within the Section/Board. The members of the groups are:
- Cruz-Sanchez (Chair)
- Cuvelier (Chair)
The task groups are to present their reports in the next meeting of the Section/Board.
The following topics were presented with the primary aim of informing the delegates and the member countries, and to formulate the Section/Board policies if deemed appropriate:
- The Recognition of Professional Qualifications
- European Examination
- Dermatopathology examination
- Protocol concerning CME credit points
- Highlights from the UEMS Newsletter
5.1. The Recognition of Professional Qualifications
A new Directive of the European Parliament on the recognition of professional qualifications (Directive 2005/36/EC; Add. 3) was distributed to the delegates (available at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/qualifications/docs/eqf_en.pdf)
Prof. Ruiter reviewed the major aspects of the Directive. Prof. Lehto brought into discussion the comments of Dr. Hannu Halila, President of the UEMS. The major topics emerging in the discussion was the length of training in medical profession in general and in pathology in particular. There were also views presented to the effect that increasing specialization in medicine may require, in the future, major reorganization of the graduate and postgraduate training to maintain/reach a balance between a trend of prolongation of the training and with society's need to have professionals to serve already at a young age and for a longer period of professional life.
5.2. European Examination
Professor Cuvelier informed about the status, problems and prospects of the European Examination. The major problem is the low participation from the member countries. The obvious reason for this is that the Examination has no formal status and is not considered as a prerequisite for qualification. Increasingly, the examination is attended by colleagues from non-member states with a motivation to present it as a credit when applying a position in a member country. Professor Cuvelier also strongly urged the delegates to work to have better participation from their countries.
Professor Pardo informed about the EAPCP (European Association of Pathology Chairs and Residency Program Directors), a newly formed organization with the aim of harnessing pathologists/teachers running the specialist training programs to work for European harmonization. Prof. Pardo told that there are some 280 heads of departments in the member countries and that the EAPCP has just opened a webpage (www.eapcp.org).
In the discussion, it was emphasized that it is important to recognize and avoid overlap and conflicts in the functions of the EAPCP and Section/Board. To that effect, the members of the Section/Board who also serve in the Council and the Committees of the EAPCP should act strongly and in the spirit of developing close collaboration and avoiding conflicts. In order to further the links with the EAPCP it was decided that Professor Ruiter writes a letter to the EAPCP in which these policy lines are expressed.
Ms. Kempny raised a question whether the new developments in pathology training would require revision of the charter. In order to evaluate the current policies of the Section/Board as to the training requirement it was decided to form a working group with the following members
- Cuvelier (Chair)
5.3. Dermatopathology Examination
In the previous Section/Board meeting in Helsinki on May 21st, 2005, an agreement concerning dermatopathology examination was accepted and Dr. Birgitte Bruun-Rasmussen and Felix Offner elected as representatives of the Section/Board in the European Advisory Board for Dermatopathology.
Dr. Birgitte Bruun-Rasmussen gave a report of the first UEMS Dermatology/Pathology-ICDP Joint Meeting held in Frankfurt Nov 12, 2005, about the examination in 2004 and told about the guidelines and plans for the examinations in 2006-2008.
5.4. Protocol concerning CME credit point
Prof. Lehto informed about the new agreement between UEMS and the European Accreditation Council for CME (EACCME) concerning the protocol to award European credits for educational/training events. According to the new protocol the evaluation of the event is done by National Accreditation Authority and the relevant Section of the UEMS. It was agreed that the President of the Section of Pathology/Board of Pathology is in charge of arranging the handling of the applications submitted to the Section/Board and has the mandate to decide about its acceptance and the number of credits. For further information on the agreement, see http://admin.uems.net/uploadedfiles/711.doc.
The following topics were discussed for the policy formulation based on brief memoranda proposal by Professor Lehto:
- New and future member countries; challenges and opportunities (Add. 4)
- Ownership, storage and release of Pathology Results (Add. 5)
In the discussion on the new and future member countries, it was emphasized that it is instrumental, first, to establish contacts with the relevant societies, second, to inform them about the aims and functions of the Section/Board, and, third, incorporate them into the activities concerning the harmonization efforts. The delegates were urged to use their own contacts and channels to promote these efforts.
The topic on the ownership, storage and release of pathology results was considered important and it was agreed that unequivocal regulations need to be put in place and that it is vital for the profession of pathology that they will not either endanger the diagnostic and the clinical use of the tissue material or the data relevant to it or create unnecessary obstacles for their use in research. It was agreed that the topic is important and timely and will be handled more extensively in future meetings.
Dr. Peter Kelly gave a talk on Quality Assessment in Pathology. In the ensuing discussion, there was a lively exchange of experiences of quite different quality schemes protocols in different member countries. On the other hand, it was agreed that the quality schemes are central in setting the aims and determining the contents of pathology training. Thus, they are not only determinants but also instruments of harmonization. Therefore, it was agreed that it is in the interest of the Section/board to aim at more unified system of quality assessment. For that purpose, it was decided to found a working group with the following members:
- Kelly (Chair)
The working group was charged to present its proposition for a unified quality control scheme which could be used as a guideline in the quality scheme development in the member countries by the next Section/Board meeting.
The topic was discussed based on Addendum 6. The procedure presented in the Addendum was accepted. As secretary, Prof. Lehto was proposed and unanimously elected.
Report from the year 2005, the status of the year 2006 (Add.7) and the new key for the fees was presented by professor Ruiter (Add. 8).
There were two proposals, Dublin and Ghent, for the site of the next meeting. A vote was taken in favor of Ghent. The data of the meeting was set at Saturday the 2nd of June 2007.
Professor Ruiter closed the meeting at 4 p.m.