1 Environment and Health, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven University, Leuven, Belgium
2 Department of Social Medical Affairs, Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), Rotterdam, the Netherlands
3 IDEWE, External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work, Heverlee, Belgium
Address correspondence to:
Annette E de Wind
Environment and Health, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 35/5, 3000 Leuven,
Article ID: 100048D05AW2020
Aims: Insurance medicine being only in a few countries a recognized medical specialty, there are only in some countries registered insurance physicians. Yet in all countries, medical doctors carry out assessments in the context of the social security framework. In countries where there are no registered insurance physicians, these assessments are being carried out by doctors whose education and training are determined by history and national legislation. The aim of this study was to describe and compare the postgraduate education and training of physicians involved in insurance medical work in 15 European countries.
Methods: We organized a European expert meeting consisting of three phases: a preparatory phase in order for 21 participants to prepare themselves for the meeting, a written phase at the meeting, an oral phase with systematic rounds of questions and discussion followed by analysis and classification of data.
Results: Education and training requirements for physicians involved in insurance medical work differ in Europe, as do the actual available training and education programs offered, both at the start and throughout the career in this field. The current situation varies from nonexistent in three countries to a full postgraduate program leading to a registered medical specialization in seven countries. Continuous medical education also varies from nonexistent, through general to specific insurance medical training in eight countries.
Conclusion: Harmonization of the postgraduate education and training program of the physicians involved in the insurance medical work in Europe is needed. Setting the basis for European standards in insurance medicine education and advocating for competence-based training are not only the conditions for European recognition but would also further insurance medicine as a medical specialty.
Keywords: Continuous medical education, Disability assessment, Education, European insurance physicians, Insurance medicine, Training
We thank Sören Brage who contributed to the conception and who moderated an expert meeting.Author Contributions
Annette E de Wind - Substantial contributions to conception and design, Acquisition of data, Analysis of data, Interpretation of data, Drafting the article, Final approval of the version to be published
Patricia M Dekkers-Sánchez - Interpretation of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Lode Godderis - Interpretation of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be publishedGuaranter of Submission
The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.Source of Support
Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this article.Data Availability
All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.Conflict of Interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.Copyright
© 2020 Annette E de Wind et al. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.