This post is also available in: Deutsch

Presentation of manual medical training institutes An-Institute for Manual Medicine at the DTMD-University

The qualification in manual medicine is built worldwide on a primary medical degree, which, with few exceptions, does not include the subject of manual medicine. Thus, continuing education in manual medicine is primarily postgraduate. It usually comprises at least 300 hours and in some countries is integrated into a residency. More often, however, as in Germany, manual medicine is an additional qualification supplementing a residency, and in many states the qualification to practice manual medicine is not regulated. Against this background, the International Federation for Manual/Musculoskeletal Medicine (FIMM) recommends, in order to homogenize further training in manual medicine worldwide, a four-level qualification which, when completed, corresponds to 60 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) and a Master of Advanced Studies (M2). The recommendations of the European Scientific Society of Manual Medicine (ESSOMM) and the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) go in the same direction, and also require that continuing educators should be qualified at the master's level. By linking the further education recommendations to ECTS, a connection to the European educational processes becomes possible.

In Europe, two educational processes (Bologna Process, Bruges/Copenhagen Process) were introduced to make national educational qualifications comparable and to simplify permeability between the different levels and areas of education. The Bologna Process primarily regulates initial academic education, while the Bruges/Copenhagen Process, in addition to primary vocational education, regulates in particular continuing vocational education and training, including postgraduate academization. The Bologna Process works with ECTS, the Bruges/Copenhagen Process with ECVETs (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training). Both credit systems are interchangeable and one credit point (1 ECTS, 1 ECVET) corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of learning and work. Both the Bologna Process and the Bruges/Copenhagen Process refer to the European Qualifications Framework for levels 6 (Bachelor) to 8 (Doctorate). While the Bologna Process is the responsibility of the respective national ministries of education, the Bruges/Copenhagen Process complies with European law and is the responsibility of the EU Commission.

When comparing the current qualification situation in manual medicine and the European educational processes, a further development of the qualification standards of manual medicine within the framework of the Bruges/Copenhagen process seems to make the most sense. The hitherto usual scope of further training in manual medicine of 300 hours can be converted into 10 to 12 ECVET points and corresponds to the second level of the four qualification levels of the FIMM recommendation and thus to a Certificate of Advanced Studies. In order to also reach the fourth level of the FIMM recommendation with master's level, a state or university accreditation is necessary. Thus, in order to further develop manual medicine and to implement the recommendations of FIMM, ESSOMM and UEMS, the integration of manual medicine into a university environment and studies is mandatory.

Against this background, the Dr. Karl Sell Medical Seminar Isny-Neutrauchburg (MWE) and the University for Digital Technologies in Medicine and Dentistry (DTMD-University), based at Wilz Castle in Luxembourg, have founded an affiliated university institute for manual medicine. DTMD University offers part-time postgraduate master's programs in medicine and dentistry throughout Europe based on the Bruges/Koppenhagen process. With the establishment of the An-Institute for Manual Medicine, an adjunct professorship for manual medicine and nuclear medicine pain therapy was simultaneously established at DTMD University. The An-Institute of Manual Medicine, in coordination with the University, has the right to conduct master's degree and certificate programs in manual medicine and related specialties and to award corresponding degrees from the DTMD University. The research focus of the An-Institute is the evidence-based approach to manual medicine and the impact of increasing digitalization in healthcare on manual medicine. In the meantime, based on the qualification recommendations of FIMM, ESSOMM and UEMS, a Master's program in Manual Medicine for physicians has been developed and accredited by the Accreditation Agency in Health and Social Services (AHPGS) and is thus recognized throughout Europe. The program will officially open at the MWE annual meeting on Sept. 25, 2021. It has a duration of two years, allows the acquisition of 120 ECTS or ECVETs and concludes with a Master of Science degree. The module handbook with the contents of the study program can be viewed on the homepage of the DTMD-University.

The master's degree program in manual medicine gives physicians in countries that have not yet had state regulation of continuing education the opportunity to obtain official proof of qualification. It fulfills the recommendations of ESSOMM and UEMS for the qualification of continuing educators and thus enables a corresponding proof of continuing education qualification as required by the model continuing education regulations of the German Medical Association. Another advantage for the further development of manual medicine is the increasing scientific qualification of the graduates of the master's program and the resulting opportunity for a more comprehensive scientific study of manual medicine. Ultimately, this can lead to a better evidence base for manual medicine, which supports the continued existence of manual medicine within health care systems and makes it seem more likely.

R. Klett, Head of An-Institute for Manual Medicine at DTMD-University
Manual medicine 2021; 59:211-216.