Interview with Doctor Michaela Gjerstad, President of the Norwegian Sleep Association

Dear Dr. Gjerstad, what is the status of the accreditation procedures for sleep medicine experts? Can you explain how the procedure works?

We are following the ESRS accreditation system i.e. no national sleep examination/accreditaion.  The ESRS accreditation is endorsed.
There are two national competency centres for sleep disorders (sleep disorders in general and a separate centre for narcolepsy). Both centres support research and teach as well as distribute information to patients and health personal.

Such an accreditation procedure is planned only for physicians or also for other professional figures like psychologists, technicians etc.?

No national accreditation for physicians or psychologist planned. The ESRS accreditation is endorsed.
ESRS accreditation for technicians is endorsed, though national accreditation is currently discussed due to possible language issues.

Do you also have an accreditation procedure for sleep centers?

Not currently.

Do you have accreditation procedures for centers with different characteristics (multidisciplinary, respiratory specific, pediatrics etc)?

Not currently.

Is sleep medicine officially included in academic programs?

No extensive national guidelines. Depending on the University, basic sleep medicine education is included in medicine studies, as well as for psychologists.

Do you organize accredited sleep medicine courses?

The national competency centre for sleep disorders offers several annual and biannual sleep medicine courses, including scoring courses.  These are nationally recognized for continuing education.
The national sleep society offers biannual hypersomnia courses that are recognized for continuing education. We are currently planning to expand with courses for paediatric sleep as well as sleep in the aging.

Are you working toward achieving the recognition of sleep medicine as a medical sub-specialty?

Yes. But currently no active engagement.

Is basic research in the sleep field represented in the Norwegian Sleep Association activities?

Yes. The NSSRSM (Norwegian Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine) has as a goal to represent most areas of expertise involved in sleep medicine/research.
Currently the EC consists of a neurologist, ENT, neurophysiologist, psychiatrist, pulmologist, psychologist and a basic researcher.

Thank you, Dr. Gjerstad, for participating in this interview.

Lino Nobili