Educational issues in Rheumatology

Johannes J. Rasker, Jan Dequeker, Anthony D. Woolf

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    27 Citations (Scopus)


    Musculoskeletal conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability, affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world. Nearly a quarter of all consultations in primary care are concerned with rheumatic disease, yet undergraduate education in rheumatology is under-developed all over the world and does not get the attention it deserves. This has important consequences for the early diagnosis of rheumatic disease and the proper care of rheumatic patients in general, as well as for the esteem of rheumatology as a profession. Because the high prevalence and impact of rheumatic disease are not reflected in medical curricula, the International League of Associations for Rheumatology developed the Undergraduate Medical Education in Rheumatology 2000 Project. The project embodies three fundamental concepts: (1) to convince medical faculties and schools educating health professionals world wide that skills in examination, a knowledge of the management of musculoskeletal disease and a positive attitude to disability are the basis of good medical practice; (2) that rheumatology is valuable for acquiring skills in problem-solving, clinical reasoning and understanding basic genetic, immunological and biochemical mechanisms, as illustrated by rheumatic disease; and (3) to orient these programmes to the needs of individual patients in the context of the population at large, knowing that 20% of all primary care consultations involve musculoskeletal disease. The movement of doctors throughout the world, especially within Europe, is leading to initiatives to harmonize standards of specialist training. The importance of ensuring the highest standard of clinical care, achieving the greatest gain in health alongside a rapid advance in knowledge and clinical practice, is increasing the priority for continuing medical education and methods to ensure that doctors remain competent at all stages of their career.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)715-729
    Number of pages15
    JournalBailliere's clinical rheumatology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Undergraduate education
    • specialist training
    • rheumatology
    • continuing medical education
    • ILAR
    • IR-74320
    • METIS-148769

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