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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 61 (2019) 3, 175 - 181

Review article

Heterogeneity in psychiatry training in Europe: competition or collaboration?

L. De Picker, A. Nobels

background The European Union strives towards a mutual recognition of qualifications for medical specialists. Already in 1993, the European Union of Medical Specialists drafted non-binding quality criteria for every medical specialty. In psychiatry, however, European standardisation and quality control of the different national training programmes is currently still lacking.
aim To describe the heterogeneity of psychiatric postgraduate training in Europe and its ensuing challenges.
method We used the scientific literature and results from surveys conducted with European trainees between 2016 and 2018.
results Psychiatric training differed throughout Europe in terms of format, content and working conditions. The minimum duration of training in the European Union ranged from 4 to 7 years. Regarding content, the position of psychotherapy differed significantly between countries. Finally, the differences in subjective learning experiences were influenced by organisational variables, such as working hours and availability of supervision.
conclusion Despite all efforts to harmonise psychiatry training in Europe, in practice there has been little progress towards this goal. Nevertheless, information on the differences in training variables between countries has become more readily available, and trainees may use this knowledge to actively shape their own education.

keywords education in psychiatry, psychiatry in Europe, post-graduate training, specialist training