Anaesthesiologists and intensive care doctors have become progressively more mobile across Europe. The standardisation of training systems has been recommended by the European Union of Medical Specialist (UEMS) to facilitate the mutual recognition of professionals.
We aimed to assess the level of compliance with the 2018 European training requirements (ETR) for the specialty of anaesthesiology, pain and intensive care medicine.
An electronic questionnaire on the duration of the training and assessment methods in anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine was circulated via e-mail to the National Anaesthesia Societies Committee (NASC) representatives of all 41 European countries as defined by the WHO.
All 41 countries replied. The average duration of training was 4.7 years; in 29% of the countries, it was less than 5 years. In 78% of the countries, a mandatory written examination was required, and the most common form was a national test (44%), with only 27% using the European Diploma of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. In the subgroup of the 26 EU countries investigated, the average duration of the training was 5 years and in 19% was less than 5 years. In the subgroup of the 15 non-EU countries, the average duration of training was 4.25 years, with 46% of the countries having a duration shorter than 5 years.
This survey highlighted the diversity in the training in anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine in Europe despite the recommendations advocated by the EBA-UEMS. The findings on the duration of training demonstrated that the target of 5 years has not been universally achieved yet with a substantial difference between EU and non-EU countries. The presented evidence suggests the need for initiatives dedicated to implement compliance with the advocated duration and competence requirements reported in the European Training Requirement for anaesthesiology and intensive care by UEMS.