Dear Dr. Moloney, what is the status of the accreditation procedures for sleep medicine experts? Can you explain how the procedure works?
Currently, in Ireland, we do not have an accreditation procedure for sleep medicine experts.
Is such an accreditation procedure planned only for physicians or also for other professional figures like psychologists, technicians etc.?
A formalised accreditation process for sleep physicians and allied sleep professionals is not currently implemented in Ireland. However, many Physiologists have undertaken the American Board Registered Polysomnographic Technologist exams.
Do you also have an accreditation procedure for sleep centers?
Not presently. However, the Irish Sleep Society has recently developed and published practice guidelines for the standards of sleep medicine services in Ireland.
Do you have accreditation procedures for centers with different characteristics (multidisciplinary, respiratory specific, pediatrics etc)?
Is sleep medicine officially included in academic programs?
The annual Irish Sleep Society meeting is recognised as part of the Respiratory Specialist Registrar study day curriculum. Moreover, Respiratory Physiologists in year 4 of the Bachelor of Science Degree in Respiratory Clinical Measurement attend 15 hours of specialist lectures on sleep physiology, and complete a competency based portfolio as part of their 4th year 13 week placement. They sit a final year exam and undergo a practical assessment in polygraphy setup.
Do you organize accredited sleep medicine courses?
A joint venture between the Institute of Clinical Measurement Science, and the Irish Sleep Society, runs a 2-day sleep medicine course, for healthcare professionals, every 2 years. There are plans underway for developing continuous professional development modules in Sleep Medicine, through the Dublin Institute of Technology, for clinical measurement physiologist graduates working in Sleep centres in Ireland.
Are you working toward achieving the recognition of sleep medicine as a medical sub-specialty?
We have applied to the Health Service Executive in Ireland, and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, to have sleep medicine recognised as a National Clinical Programme in Ireland. Efforts to date have been unsuccessful.
Is basic research in the sleep field represented in the Irish Sleep Society activities?
Yes, the annual Irish Sleep Society meeting has basic research presentations every 2 years.
Thank you, Dr. Moloney, for participating in this interview.