In the last year of your medicine programme, you can become acquainted with your future specialism in the ‘dedicated transition programme’.

The dedicated transition programme was designed by the NFU. The underlying idea is that the student can acquire competencies during his/her last master year that belong to the first year of the advanced medical specialist programme. The dedicated transition programme helps shorten the advanced programme, which can make the medical specialist programme cheaper. The advanced programme is closely associated with how the transition programme is built up, and the advances made by the transition student can be closely followed. This shows whether a student may be interesting enough to transfer directly into the advanced programme.

Start career sooner as a medical specialist

Why have a dedicated transition programme?

The dedicated transition programme is a product of the agreement reached by the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the various patients’ associations in 2013 about a budget cut of €218 million in the advanced medical specialist programme. At that time, an alternative to the budget cut was agreed, which involved various measures:

  1. The number of places in the programmes was reduced, by around 100 per year.

  2. Hospitals receive less programme budget for each specialist in training;

  3. The advanced programme must be completed at least six months earlier by some of the specialists in training (in 2022, 80% of the trainees must complete the programme a half-year faster than was the case in 2013).

The acceleration to shorten it by six months can be realised in three different ways:

  • Through the dedicated transition programme, the basic medical doctor programme is used better.
  • On the basis of all acquired competencies, more exemptions can be given during the advanced programme. 
  • The set programme duration of medical specialists is abandoned by letting them acquire the necessary competencies faster (on average).

Final result: specialists in training acquire the necessary skills to work as a fully fledged specialist faster, and can complete their programme earlier. This makes the advanced programme more efficient and less expensive. This regulation closely fits the programmes’ modernisation effort initiated in 2008 (which took effect in 2011): this can lead to more competence-oriented training.