(Quite) New national trainee association: Norway

Norway is a relatively new member in the EFPT family, but from 2015 both (adult) psychiatry and CAP is included.norway_portoforum2015

Norway has a population of 5 millions, 25 000 physicians, and psychiatry is the third largest speciality after general practice and internal medicine, with 2000 specialists in psychiatry, 500 psychiatric trainees, 250 CAP specialists and 250 CAP trainees.

More than 96 % of Norwegian physicians are member of The Norwegian Medical Association (NMA), and psychiatrists are also member of The Norwegian Psychiatric Association, CAPs of The Norwegian Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , both parts of NMA. A decision made in the NMA recently decides that trainees in psychiatry and CAP are obliged to become member of the sub-association which cover their field of specialisation.

Trainees in both psychiatry and CAP have been collaborating for some years to join the EFPT, but first had to overcome some resistance in the national organizations. As mentioned, specialists and trainees in Norway are member of the same associations, and we wanted to establish the trainee associations as parts of the existing organizations for many reasons, both economical, practical and political. The traniees in psychiatry crossed the finish line first, and in 2013 a referendum on the general assembly of The Norwegian Psychiatric Association unanimously decided to establish the trainee association, and that all trainees automatically should be enrolled. Therefore, over the night, the national trainee association was both established and fully equipped with members, and also well funded. In the EFPT Forum in Zürich the same year, Norway was accepted as a new member in the EFPT family.

The process for the CAPs has taken a little longer, but for the first time members of the fully established CAP trainee association attended the EFPT Forum in Porto this summer. The two organizations are planning to cooperate on several common fields of interest.

CAPs have to do a year of (adult) psychiatry during  their specialisation, also half a year of pediatric medicine. The training takes at least 5,5 years. The specialisation in psychiatry takes at least 5 years and doesn’t contain any mandatory CAP-experience, but as much as two years will be approved. But moving from abroad to Norway during specialisation and hoping to get to use experience from another country can soon prove to be a challenging maneuver.

Recently the government has initiated a process to reform the overall structure of medical specialisation in Norway. The goal is partly to make the trainee period more predictable for the trainees, but also to shorten the time trainees uses, as the average is as high as nine years (probably mostly due to pregnancy/birth, research and waiting for rotation/position with mandatory service).