Specialist training in respiratory medicine
An important mission of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) is the promotion of lung health through medical education, a central part of which is the training of future respiratory specialists (postgraduate training) through the ERS School.
There has been a clear need to harmonise and improve education and training in Europe. In part this has been driven by the advent of free movement of labour within the European Union and the consequent need for national registration authorities to agree criteria on the competence of medical specialists from other countries. Recognising this need, the ERS launched the HERMES (Harmonised Education in Respiratory Medicine for European Specialists) project in close cooperation with the European Union for Medical Specialists (UEMS), the Forum of European Respiratory Societies (FERS) and the European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology (EBAP). An educational task force established by the ERS School and consisting of experts representing the above organisations, along with a member of the Permanent Working Group of European Junior Doctors, plus representatives from several European regions, developed a strategy to define optimal educational standards in order to achieve better harmonised training of specialists in respiratory medicine. The strategy comprises four project phases (figure 1).