It is a pivotal instrument for European urologists. The EU-ACME programme keeps track of urologists’ educational activities irrespective of the country they practise in or where they have participated in accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities. “CME and CPD are critical for the quality level of urology in Europe and for the careers of individual urologists,” says Prof. Marek Babjuk (CZ), who has been appointed to new chair of EU-ACME, succeeding Prof. Rien Nijman (NL). “The quality of education and the level of acquired knowledge have to be checked. EU-ACME is thus tightly connected with all educational activities, including the European School of Urology (ESU) and its scholarship programme (EUSP).”
What do you think you will add to the EU-ACME office?
Prof. Babjuk: “This is not an easy question, because I am just getting started and will need to acquaint myself with many details. I will do my best to bring all my experience gained from my academic position at the Charles University in Prague, my work for the Czech Urological Society, and my participation in several EAU activities to this position. There is no doubt that CME/CPD are very important tools to improve the level of urology within all European countries. For instance, we are currently updating the criteria for the EAU-EBU Host Centre Certification Programme, which should improve the international recognition of individual European training centres and provide transparent information to scholars. I will do my best to improve all EU-ACME activities and the flow of information to EAU members.”
What are your goals for EU-ACME?
“In the future, it is going to be necessary to improve the communication with individual countries and to try to find a way to boost local acceptance of the legal consequences of European education. Above all, it is paramount to continue with all that was built by Prof. Nijman and his team. Prof. Nijman is a distinguished European expert. He devoted a great deal of effort to EAU’s interests in EU-ACME and to the success of EU-ACME itself. He is deeply respected by the urological community, and it will not be easy to substitute his experience and knowledge. I hope we will stay in touch, at least for the initial few months.”
Has it been a personal goal of you to become chair of EU-ACME?
“My goal has been to participate in EAU activities in the area of education. Nearly my entire professional life has been connected with the EAU. The EAU has supported me throughout my career, gave me the opportunity to meet the most distinguished European experts, and allowed me to learn a lot about education, research principles, and activities. EU-ACME and CME/CPD are non-detachable parts of education, so my decision was not difficult. I hope I can contribute to the success of the EAU as the chairman of the EU-ACME office.”
You are also chairman of the EAU Guidelines Working Panel on Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC). Could you tell something about how you started out at the EAU?
“I have been an EAU member since 1994. That was the year I participated in the annual meeting in Paris. This was the era of building a large society with a lot of enthusiasm. The meeting was simply great, and it persuaded me to become a member of the EAU. A milestone in my career was my participation in the ESU course in Ukraine back in 1998, which was the first surgical training course in the history of ESU.”
“This was my first direct experience with ESU and the education offered here. As my main scientific interest was bladder cancer, I was invited to contribute to the creation of the EAU Guidelines on NMIBC, which brought me to the centre of the activities of the association. Owing to my activities in this area of education, I became a member of the ESU board. So, apparently, a lot that I achieved in life was thanks to the EAU.”
You work in the Department of Urology at the 2nd Medical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague and have been president of the Czech Urological Society since 2011. What kind of experience you have gained in the Czech Republic do you think you bring to EU-ACME?
“All these positions are related to urological education and to generating interest in our specialisation. Moreover, I come from one of the central European countries, which has a different kind of history and, even today, has a specificity to it in comparison with western countries. I hope I will be able to contribute the benefits of all these experiences to the success of EU-ACME and to the enhancement of urology in the whole of Europe.”
For more information on EU-ACME, please visit www.eu-acme.org.