Improving medical research education across Europe

October 23, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Fostering and improving medical research education is crucial to biomedical research and clinical patient treatment, and as such it has been identified as the main challenge in every joint European Science Foundation (ESF) - European Research Medical Councils (EMRC) strategy report. A new policy report entitled "Medical Research Education in Europe" has just been published looking at crucial factors to improve medical research education throughout Europe.

The new science policy briefing report features an overview of ' training across Europe. It identifies good practices and main trends, pointing at the current key barriers to excellence, and making practical recommendations to all stakeholders involved in the public and private sectors.

The recommendations include measures aimed at achieving improved recruitment and early involvement in and acknowledgement of research, improved curricula incorporating multidisciplinary skills, harmonised and high quality common standards that enable much more mobility, better access to cutting-edge and resources, and more synergy among all stakeholders, from the individual to institutions and governments.

"This outstanding report crystalizes the need to improve medical researchers training and continuous education" said Martin Hynes, Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation. "Europe must strengthen its research career development systems to reposition itself strongly in the international arena. As we invest heavily in medical education, we need to ensure an optimal return from that. There is also the need for a wider search for talent than the vertically designed systems found in most countries. I am confident this report will have an impact on those with the power to change things".

"Medical Research education is heterogeneous in Europe—said Giovanni Pacini, Chair of this SPB—and poses challenges when attempting to mutually recognize individual qualifications. This SBP shows that several European countries adhere to an overall similar template, but with criteria, programmes and features that are quite different. Our report aims to summarize the key features of selected European Countries to provide a wide picture of the situation of medical research education in our Continent".

Medical research education is a vital component of the modern healthcare enterprise that improves patients' lives, generates innovations through new discoveries and inventions, and activates our economy. In the face of global competition for talent and resources, and the unprecedented challenges set forth by new demographic, social and epidemiological changes, Europe must take on board all relevant stakeholders to take firm and coordinated steps in terms of programme reforms, updated governance structures, ambitious policy measures, and forward-looking resource allocations to overcome these barriers and improve medical research education for the long-term.

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