EULAR launches its School of
By Gregory Twachtman
EULAR has launched a new way
for rheumatologists all around the
world to remain up-to-date on their
profession with the organisation’s
new School of Rheumatology.
EULAR President Johannes W.J.
Bijlsma, a professor of rheumatology at the University Medical Centre
Utrecht (Netherlands), provided
congress attendees with an overview of the new school.
Noting that EULAR has more
than a decade of educational ma-
terial, including online courses,
books, live courses, and other edu-
cational material, Prof. Bijlsma said
a decision was made “to put that
all under the same ‘roof’ – the roof
of the School of Rheumatology.”
Much like a physical school, this
virtual campus will offer different
learning opportunities for a wide
range of visitors.
“What we are thinking about
is developing what we call the
‘school yard,’ and the school yard
can be accessed by anyone,” Prof.
Bijlsma said. This free portion will
provide information for three types
of visitors: medical students, patients, and health professionals.
For medical students, “we aim
to have information on rheumatic
diseases available for all medical
students all over the world, but it
will be based on the curriculum
of European medical schools,” he
The area focused on patients will
include information on medical
treatments, such as updates on
biosimilars, as well as discussions
about rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases and information that
will be useful to those who are
fighting these diseases.
Similarly, practitioners will be
able to access an element of free
information to help them in the delivery of care.
But the deeper information will
be available for those who choose
to pay for membership to the new
“We will have separate classes
for all the members,” Prof. Bijlsma
said, including classes, information
for those who are unable to attend
the EULAR Congress (including recorded sessions), a subscription to
the EULAR Journal The Annals of
the Rheumatic Diseases, and other
items that are still being developed. People who attended the EULAR Congress in Madrid received a
free membership to the school for
the first year; future costs have not
yet been determined.
Beyond the school yard of free
information, there are seven
“classrooms” currently under development that are part of the pay
area for each of the following types
• Medical students, which will have
a standard curriculum for musculoskeletal diseases and provide videos to help support teachers and
• Trainees in rheumatology, which
will provide information for those
looking to become a rheumatologist in Europe.
• Teachers, which will be a resource
to those who are educating current
and future rheumatologists.
• Rheumatologists, which will offer
a pocket primer on rheumatic dis-
eases as an app.
• Scientists, which will have online
course offerings on epidemiology
and clinical trial research and will
offer webinars on basic science
• Health professionals, which includes preparing an accreditation
system and expanding online
• Patients, which includes lay versions of EULAR Recommendations,
information on developing patient
partner programmes in research,
and webinars on specific topics
such as biosimilars.
Online courses available through
the school will be updated annually.
“We have different groups of
people who meet twice or three
times a year deciding what is
available for each target group,
what information they want to give
that target group and how best to
deliver it,” he said of the process
to build the school’s curriculum.
“Then we make a list of priorities,
look at the budget, and decide
what steps we need to take.”
Prof. Bijlsma stressed that this
information, both free and premi-
um, is not just for patients, health
professionals, and rheumatologists
in Europe, but the site and its in-
formation “will be available to any-
one, regardless of location.”
“What we are thinking about is
developing what we call the ‘school
yard,’ and the school yard can be
accessed by anyone.“