Expertise ikv Life Long Learning EUROPALS.

Project Details


Pathology is a medical specialty that provides diagnoses in a great variety of diseases of all organ systems by investigating (small or large) pieces of tissue or cells from these organs.
Although the practice of pathology in Europe and around the world is quite similar, the methods and contents of specialty training and the expected competencies and their evaluation at the end of the training program (and therefore also during active professional life), vary significantly. With the free movement of doctors within the EU these differences have been a source of concern since its foundation in 1957. Countries with very demanding training programs are often reluctant to hire doctors from countries with less well defined training requirements. Harmonisation of the training programs has therefore be the goal of many efforts in the past.
The last two decades have shown that the harmonisation of training can not be achieved by trying to reach a consensus about a more homogeneous approach regarding the training programs. National certifying organisations and practices preclude such a solution at the present time. However, consensus can easily be reached on training outcomes and the competencies required of a medical specialist. These competencies can be evaluated and their inclusion in training programmes assured through assessment programs. The goals of the EUROPALS project are to define the competencies of pathologists in Europe at the end of their specialty training and to provide them with tools to subsequently remain competent for the rest of their career. No matter where one is trained and under which conditions, common end terms can be defined for all European countries and these competencies can be tested. A universally accepted competency test will facilitate the movement of (junior) doctors around the European continent. It could also contribute to specialty-specific evaluations in those countries that develop formal revalidation programs.
To achieve this goal a European network was formed with 39 official partners, all academic pathology chairs and/or program directors. In addition more than 200 others with the same background joined the program. This consortium represents nearly all European academic pathology institutes with training facilities.
The main achievement of this first period of the EUROPALS program is the development of a profile of the discipline in Europe, the general characteristics of a training programme and the agreement of the project partners and other training institutions in Europe on the general and pathology-specific competencies at the end of training. This has been realised in the document "A European Pathology Curriculum", especially written for this occasion. The above mentioned academic departmental chairs and program directors were consulted and they approved the contents.
In addition, these competences were used to prepare a first web based test using virtual microscopic slides in October 2008. The primary aim of this test was to assess IT feasibility of the approach: access of hundreds/thousands of participants simultaneously to a (network of) server(s) on which the test was offered. Essential experience was gained and important steps were set into the direction of a robust stable IT infrastructure. The presently available data show that a functional system is within reach and additional trial rounds will assure an easily accessible stimulating test environment without technical hiccups.
Effective start/end date27/11/09 → …


  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Apoptosis
  • Endocrine Pancreatic Tumors
  • Pancreas
  • Zollinger Ellison Syndrome
  • Development
  • Endocrine
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Morphogenesis Of Endocrine Pancreas
  • Morphology
  • Microscopy
  • Cell Growth And Differentiation
  • Men-I
  • Islet Cell Transplantation


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.