Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Pathology sans frontiers
  1. Jan G van den Tweel
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor J G van den Tweel
 Department of Pathology, University Medical Center, H4.312, Utrecht 3508 GA, The Netherlands; j.vandentweel{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Pathology without frontiers

Pathology in Europe is still mainly directed at a national level by the national pathology societies. The main goal of these societies is to guarantee an optimum practice of the specialty, both professionally and economically, in their own country. The interest or involvement in the same aspects of the specialty in other countries was and is very limited, taking the long history of European unification into consideration.

The main international organisation that binds anatomic pathologists in Europe is the European Society of Pathology. This Society is the main organiser of international European congresses that are held biannually (with a smaller intercongress in between). Moreover, it adds also to postgraduate education by its European School of Pathology and by EuroCellPath. The latter organisation addresses mainly the molecular aspects of pathology. Through these activities, the European Society of Pathology contributes to augmentation of knowledge in Europe in its widest geographical sense. However, it does not play an active role in the process of harmonisation of training and practice in Europe.

With the Treaty of Rome in 1957, a free exchange of diplomas, including the medical ones, in the then European Economic Community (EEC) was realised. In 1958, representatives of the medical specialist organisations of the six involved countries convened to discuss the consequences of the free movement of doctors that could result from this decision. Europe at that time had a great diversity in specialties with only partial overlap in different countries. They, therefore, founded the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) and tackled a number of problems such as manpower planning, subspecialisation, marking out of specialities, the quality of the specialty training and the consequences of free movement of medical specialists.


In 1962 the UEMS founded within its organisation specialist sections for the most important specialties practised at …

View Full Text