Interview with the President of the Slovenian Sleep Society, Dr. Barbara G. Stražišar

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

Slovenian Medical Society is the organization that recognizes special competencies for physicians. However, to obtain competencies in a special field the accreditation procedure requires finishing of the national educational program. So far 4 Slovenian medical doctors that have been trained abroad have passed the ESRS examination for somnologists but our society is far too small to have permanent national on-going educational program in somnology (30 members in the population of Slovenia of 2 mill).

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

Every medical professional group has its own organization that has the power of the authorization procedures. We would like to push through the Slovenian Medical Chamber somnology as a subspecialisation and so reach licencing procedure.

Do you also have an accreditation procedure for sleep centers?

The accreditation procedure for our sleep centres is performed by our national sleep society and in this procedure we follow the EU guidelines for the accreditation of sleep medicine centres.

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

Yes, we do have accreditation for multidisciplinary and respiratory only sleep centres and we do also have national accredited pediatric sleep centre.

Is sleep medicine officially included in academic programs?

Sleep medicine is included in undergraduate neurology program at the Medical faculty of University of Ljubljana in the form of lectures as well as practical work at the sleep laboratory. At the postgraduate level of there are some sleep medicine modules at Biomedicine and clinical neurology doctoral studies.

Do you organize accredited sleep medicine courses?

Our society is one of the smallest in Europe with stabile number of members over many years and we do not have our own sleep medicine courses. We are however collaborating with international community in courses such as i.e. Alpine sleep summer school to which we encourage the participation of young colleagues with special interest in sleep medicine.

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

National sleep society is trying to move the procedure at the Slovenian Medical Chamber that has the authorization for licencing procedures at all medical fields.

Is basic research in the sleep field represented in the Slovenian Sleep Society activities?

Not many basic researchers are members of the Slovenian Sleep Society, however the society is involved in many clinical sleep research projects.

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

Lino Nobili