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In Depth Training and Certification in «Nephropathology (including Kidney Transplant Pathology)» , Austria, Germany, Switzerland

Prerequisites:

  1. For candidates: Must have successfully finished their official training in anatomic pathology in their home country and must have successfully passed the board examination in pathology in order to be eligible for advanced in-depth training and certification in nephropathology. Under certain circumstances in-depth training (but not certification) may precede the pathology board examination.
  2. For training center: Eligible is a specialized institution devoted to nephropathology (including kidney transplant pathology). It is defined as a specialized unit involved in the diagnostic work-up (light microscopy, munohistochemistry/immunofluorescence microscopy/electron microscopy) of more than 200 biopsies/nephrectomies (excluding tumors) per year or an easily accessible archive of more than 1000 cases investigated by all three techniques. It should be headed by a fully trained and specialized renal pathologist.

Structure of training:

  1. In-depth training in nephropathology requires 9 months of active participation in a training center covering the active diagnostic work-up of specimens including gross pathology/description (in cases of nephrectomies), light microscopy, immunofluorescence microscopy, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. The training includes regular diagnostic sign-out sessions at a multi-user microscope conducted by the head of the unit. Basic knowledge about all technical aspects, including ancillary techniques (i.e. immunofluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy) must be acquired.
  2. On successful completion of the training, the unit head (European Society of Pathololgy) will issue an official certificate documenting possession of advanced skills in “Nephropathology”.
  3. Certified candidates must diagnose 200 renal biopsies/nephrectomies (excluding tumors) per year as a minimum requirement for maintaining their active certification in nephropathology.
    1. The diagnostic work-up must include light microscopy and immunohistochemistry and/or immunofluorescence microscopy. Electron microscopical studies may be performed in close co-operation with another center (pending adequate case documentation to guarantee proper evaluation). However, the primary pathologist must always make the final diagnostic interpretation of a renal specimen (including electron microscopy).
    2. In case that less than 200 kidney specimens are evaluated per year, the pathologist has to re-train for one week at a specialized center every 2 years in order to maintain an active certificate in nephropathology. Candidates are obliged to present valid documentation of re-training.
  4. Successfully certified candidates must re-train once for 3 months in a specialized center, following their first year of independent practice. Candidates are obliged to maintain proper documentation of re-training.
  5. Certified candidates must participate in continuous education series, discussing timely aspects of nephropathology and renal transplant pathology every 2 years.

Exceptions (“limited certification”):

  1. In rare cases, local conditions may only require in-depth training in the evaluation of native kidney specimens (excluding transplants) or alternatively only in the evaluation of renal transplant specimens (excluding native kidneys). Under these exceptional conditions the training period can be reduced and a limited certificate can be issued:
    1. Native kidney specimens only: 6 months in a specialized center initially; re-training for 2 months following the first year of independent sign-out. All other requirements have to be met in order to maintain an active (limited) certificate.
    2. Renal transplant pathology only: 6 months in a specialized center initially; re-training for 1 month following the first year of independent sign-out. All other requirements have to be met in order to maintain an active (limited) certificate.
    3. Candidates may re-train at a specialized center for 3 months at any time to obtain an “unlimited” certification. This training (depending on the limitation of the original certification) would primarily focus on renal transplant pathology or alternatively native kidney diseases.

Certification rating

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Rating: 4.8 / 5 (5 votes cast)

Discussion / comments

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Helen Liapis − Tuesday 12 August 2008 21:04:24

Prerequisites
1’Under certain circumstances in-depth training (but not certification) may precede the pathology board examination”. This perhaps should be modified: delete “and must have successfully passed the board examination in pathology” and “Under certain circumstances in-depth training (but not certification) may precede the pathology board examination.” Replace with: Board certification is desirable but not required.
Structure of training
“the unit head (European Society of Pathololgy)” : My comment to this is as follows: You are actually proposing to establish subspecialty fellowships in Nephropathology in certain institutions. Why wouldn’t it be appropriapriate for the institution to issue the certificate? The ESP curently is not oversseing the training programs; therefore is not entitled to judge the quality or adequacy of training.
3, 4,5.“Certified candidates must diagnose 200 renal biopsies/nephrectomies (excluding tumors) per year as a minimum requirement for maintaining their active certification in nephropathology.” this sems an overkill. Modify to read: After completion of training, Certified candidates must participate in continuous education series, discussing timely aspects of nephropathology and renal transplant pathology every year.