The European Board of Phlebology has announced that the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) have adopted the European training requirements presented by Jean-Jérôme Guex, president of the newly created Board. The development is the result of a European inter-speciality cooperation as the latest step in a process that started in 2015 with a meeting of the Multidisciplinary Joint Committee in Phlebology at the initiative of several UEMS specialties, including vascular surgery, vascular medicine, dermatology, radiology and general surgery, to elect a board of Phlebology.
The European Board of Phlebology was formed in October 2016, and the European training requirements in Phlebology were published and presented to the UEMS’ general council in Brussels, Belgium. Following the presentation of the proposed training requirements, the general council voted for adoption with 22 votes in favour, two opposed, and five abstentions.
The European training requirements in Phlebology define a “competency degree” in complete Phlebology as well as competency degrees in phlebology procedures, certifying physicians’ competencies in one or several phlebological procedures, including endovenous thermal ablation, ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, duplex ultrasound mapping, surgery and venous angioplasty.
Although the Board state that phlebology “is not a specialty and does not intend to become one”, they state that it is practiced by vascular physicians, vascular surgeons, surgeons, dermatologists, radiologists and other healthcare professionals, and therefore requires an structure of validation and certification of training.
An official validation of training is especially necessary due to the number of venous patients increasing with the population aging. New technologies which challenge older ones, as well as new methods which are often released and used before publication of recommendations, also pose an issue for the standard and importance of training. The fact that such training is often only provided by industry, as well as the lack of overall quality control, are problems which the newly formed European Board of Phlebology aim to change by providing validation and accreditation tools for training centres, creating a certification authority for trainees.