The project of an International Certification for Neurosonology was launched by the officers and the executive committee of the NSRG during the 2005 meeting in Osaka Japan. Later the European Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics, ESNCH, joined this initiative. The aim is to improve the quality worldwide. The certificate should indicate a high level of theoretical knowledge of the candidate and sufficient practical skill to be able to teach Neurosonology. In countries with established quality control and elaborated regulations outstanding personal qualification can be used to support accreditation on a national level. The following experts were nominated members of the international commission:
|E. Bartels||M. Jauss||E.B. Ringelstein||M. Matsumoto|
|M. Kaps||L. Csiba||G.-M. von Reutern||K. Niederkorn|
|N.V. Ramani||C. Baracchini||C. Tegeler||D. Ratanakorn|
The first chairman of the project was Prof. Dr. Michael von Reutern, Germany and the Commission Vice Chair was Prof. Dr. Eva Bartels, Germany. They first discussed the format of the certification. The problem is that practical involvement and responsibilities for ultrasonic examinations are not the same in different regions of the world. The decision was made to offer first a Multiple Choice (MC)-examination and those who pass will than take an additional practical exam with patients or subjects. Members of the commission were asked the help to build up a database of MC-questions. Suitable questions were selected from the submitted ones and formatted. A trial examination to test the appropriateness and format was done during the ESNCH meeting in Düsseldorf, May 2006. The final format was decided afterwards and published.
The first official Certification was offered during the ESNCH/NSRG meeting in Budapest 2007 (L. Csiba and L. Olah), followed by the meeting of the ESNCH in Geneve Italy 2008 (M. del Sette) and Riga 2009 (G. Baltgaile). In addition a certification was offered at the end of the International course in Bertinoro, Italy (C. Baracchini et al.) during the 1st International Neurosonology Training Course in 2008. Dr. Ramani organized a test in Singapore and together with Dr. Navarro a second one in Kuala Lumpur in 2009. Further exams took place in the Neurosonology Teaching Course in Budapest (2010) and during ESNCH conferences in Madrid 2010, Munich 2011, Venice 2012, Porto 2013, Rome 2014, Zadar 2015, Budapest 2016, Berlin 2017, Prague 2018, Linz 2019 and Belgrade 2021.
Between 20% and 30% of candidates successfully passed the MC-test, all of them passed the following Hands-on test. This selection is due to the teaching level of questions including physics and instrumentation.
As of 2022 the Certificate will include two levels of certification:
– ESNCH Certified Neurosonologist (Practical level)
– ESNCH Certified Expert in Neurosonology (Teaching level), based on the results obtained.
It has also to be recognized that English terminology was an additional handicap for non-native speakers, which is the majority of candidates. In this issue the complete list of successfully participating and awarded physicians is published. Technicians were also accepted to take part at the MC-test receiving a special certificate. Some ranged among the best.
The Certification is offered during annual ESNCH meetings, as well as during biannual advanced courses of ESNCH. Additionally, it takes place under the umbrella of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), during the meetings of the Neurosonology Specialty Group (formerly Neurosonology Research Group, NSRG) of the WFN.
Efforts are needed to brush up and enlarge the database of questions, which is not an easy task. Any submitted questions (4 answers, one correct) are welcome for consideration.
Prof. Dr. Eva Bartels
Chairman of Commission