European junior neurologists perceive various shortcomings in current residency curricula

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Background –

Whether residency programs in Europe and neighboring countries appropriately prepare one for clinical practice is a matter of discussion.

Aims of the study –

To assess perceived satisfaction and preparedness for clinical practice among residents and junior neurologists from Europe and neighboring countries.

Material and methods –

We inquired about the level of satisfaction with the quality of teaching, rotations and research opportunities of their residency program with an anonymous paper-based questionnaire. We assessed different aspects of practical training including clinical examination, diagnostic procedures, and patient management.

Results –

The survey revealed limited satisfaction with the overall training (47%). The quality of teaching was frequently perceived as good or excellent (73%), whereas supervision for patient care and diagnostic procedures was rated as improvable. Discontent related often to poor proficiency for neurological emergencies, diagnostic considerations, and therapeutic decisions. Whether the working time directive introduced by the European Union (EU) affected patient care or resident education or residents' quality of life remained ambiguous.

Conclusions –

This cross-sectional survey disclosed shortcomings in current residency curricula. These concerned diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as practical skills, regardless of country, region, or institutional background. Initiatives aimed to harmonize postgraduate neurology training across Europe will need to consider these findings.

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