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Clinical laboratory education today and tomorrow – the Swedish physician's perspective

Christian Löwbeer1,2,*

1Department of Clinical Chemistry, Aleris Medilab, 2Division of Clinical Chemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

The MD diploma after 5½ year undergraduate medical programme is followed by an internship (AT) of 18 months before licensing to practice can be granted. Postgraduate medical education in Sweden is offered by the county councils and is not the responsibility of the universities. The specialist training (ST) programme in clinical chemistry is 5 years long. The ST plan and check list in clinical chemistry are found at the home page of The Swedish Society of Medicine: www.sls.se/Utbildning/Malbeskrivningar/Nya-malbeskrivningar/. The training is mainly delivered through practical clinical work at a department of clinical chemistry according to the ST regulations specified by the National Board of Health and Welfare. The practical training is supplemented by external ST courses, usually offered by university teachers at university departments, as needed. Swedish courses in clinical chemistry for specialist training are quality assured and approved by the National Board of Health and Welfare or by the board of SFKK. Relevant courses are announced at the home page of SFKK. ST courses are typically 3–5 days. Sometimes courses are open also for chemists and biomedical scientist. The number of attendants (physicians and other occupations) is about 15–30. Most courses are financed by attendance fees. There is no formal written exam to be passed, provided that the outcomes of the training are considered to have been met by supervisors and department heads. A satisfactory completion of specialist training is finally assessed by the National Board of Health and Welfare. A future perspective on specialist training includes online courses, cooperation with other specialities and the effects of a new undergraduate education programme.

Keywords: Laboratory organization