European Junior Doctors EJD
The EJD (PWG) was formally created in Bad-Nauheim, Germany, in May 1976 as Permanent Working Group of European Junior Doctors (PWG). Since then, the EJD (PWG) has become the European medical organisation with the most comprehensive national membership, representing over 300.000 Junior Doctors all over Europe. The EJD's (PWG´s) initial objectives include safeguarding the interests of the Junior Doctors in Europe, improving relations between its member organisations and narrowing the gap between the Junior Doctors of the European Union and those of other European countries. Over the last four decades, the EJD (PWG) has actively intervened in defense of the medical profession in Europe with the purpose of contributing to the development of Junior Doctors' work and education and has had an important role as a background group for the organisations of Junior Doctors in countries preparing to join the European Union. From the beginning of the EJD's (PWG´s) existence, it became evident that the Junior Doctors of the various countries have many similar experiences and difficulties. Therefore, after pooling the information and exchanging ideas, the EJD (PWG) was able to identify the main areas of interest to Junior Doctors in Europe. The status of the medical workforce was one of the most important issues in the EJD's (PWG´s) early years. The EJD (PWG) conducted several studies that drew the medical profession's attention to the fact that this issue is not static and that long-term planning, though difficult, is essential. The different perspectives within the European Union influence the migration of doctors as well as the working conditions, quality of training and quality of patient care. Therefore, the EJD (PWG) has endeavored to gain a better insight of the workforce policy of its member countries in order to, where necessary, influence policy makers by providing examples of more successful planning. Other major areas of interest to Junior Doctors, and to the EJD (PWG), have been temporary migration for educational purposes, postgraduate training, continuing medical education, future medical work and working conditions. In its first years, the EJD (PWG) embarked on the important task of compiling information to facilitate the migration of doctors in training in Europe. The objective of this work was to provide true freedom of movement, in accordance with the principles established by the Medical Directives in 1976. The EJD's (PWG´s) greatest contribution was the publication of a series of booklets containing relevant information for doctors wishing to seek employment or complement their training in a foreign country. In 1995, at its conference on Postgraduate Training: a European Future, the EJD (PWG) publicly presented its most recent policy on this issue, which is still a reference for European doctors. This policy statement brings to light a significant number of principles concerning the structure and quality of this phase of medical education, which coincide with several points in one of the most important official documents on this issue, the 4th report of the Advisory Committee on Medical Training (ACMT), published in 1997. In the same year we had the opportunity of disseminating an important new paper on Future Medical Work, which has proven fully up-to-date. This paper concerns the organisation of work in health services and its influence on the working conditions of Junior Doctors. The greater expectations of patients, allied with factors such as ageing, migration and mobility, have led to a progressive increase in healthcare costs. As a result, most European countries have undermined doctors' working conditions with policies of economic management and redistribution of resources. Our recommendations include concepts such as the creation of a positive workplace, organisational development, project management and other strategies that enhance the structure, process and outcomes of health promotion for patients as well as doctors. In May 2000, the EJD (PWG) published a policy statement on Continuing Medical Education/Continuous Professional Development (CME/CPD) and organised a conference in which it was possible for experts from various European medical organisations to exchange their views on CME/CPD before an expert audience. We have recently witnessed the publication of several different documents on CME/CPD that generally defend the principles that became evident during the Conference. Fundamentally, the medical profession believes that CME/CPD is both a moral obligation and a right, and that access to appropriate CME/CPD must be ensured for all doctors, including those in training. The EJD s (PWG s) Policy Statement opposes a system of recertification and states that it is a misconception that such a system would contribute to the identification of unsuitable doctors, hence defending the concept of quality improvement, as opposed to quality control.