IAEA Training Curriculum for Nuclear Medicine Physicians
Click to download
The incidence and mortality associated to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is on the rise globally.
It is expected that in the next 25 years the majority of new NCDs cases and associated deaths will
occur in low- and middle-income countries. The increase in NCDs is related to several factors,
including population growth, increased life expectancy and changes in lifestyle. The most frequent
NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
Nuclear medicine techniques have revolutionized healthcare in the past decades and have become
of paramount importance for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of health conditions, in
particular NCDs. To reach the full potential of nuclear medicine, there is a need to train the involved
professionals throughout their careers. However, the cornerstone of training is the specialty in nuclear
The role of the Division of Human Health at the IAEA is to strengthen the capabilities of Member
States (MS) to address the needs related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of health
problems through the application of nuclear techniques, including nuclear medicine. To accomplish
this goal the IAEA provides education and training opportunities to professionals throughout their
careers, as part of a lifelong learning process.
At present, the practice of nuclear medicine is emerging on a global scale to address its application
in themanagement of non-communicable and communicable diseases. There is a need to harmonize
the training programs, in order to raise the level of knowledge and competencies of nuclear medicine
specialists worldwide. Trainees come from diverse backgrounds and possess different knowledge
and experience; hence, the training program requires an active and standardized approach to ensure
compliance with at least the minimum standards needed to provide an optimal clinical nuclear
As a promoter of optimal nuclear medicine practice, the IAEA presents this publication, Training
Curriculum for Nuclear Medicine Physicians, which offers guidelines that are based on various
publications, international recommendations as well as expert advice. Furthermore, it offers
competencies that a nuclear medicine trainee needs to master as drawn from the European Union
of Medical Specialists (UEMS) syllabus for postgraduate specialization in nuclear medicine, the
American Board of Nuclear Medicine, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Joint Royal
Colleges of Physicians, and the Asian Board of Nuclear Medicine, among others. Ultimately, the
objective of this publication is to recommend a harmonized training programme for nuclear medicine
physicians, allow trainees to develop the necessary knowledge, competencies and skills to practice
this medical specialty and to ensure a safety and quality level of clinical nuclear medicine.
The first draft of this publication was prepared during a meeting of external consultants and IAEA
staff in Vienna in March 2017. This group included experts with ample experience not only in the
education of medical specialists, but in the preparation of guidelines and curriculum for residency
training in nuclear medicine in their respective countries or regions. The manuscript was subsequently
revised by internal and external reviewers familiar with the process of training nuclear medicine
residents. The IAEA is grateful to the authors, contributors, and reviewers as well as the European
Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM), World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology (WFNMB),
Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), Asia Oceania Federation of Nuclear
Medicine and Biology (AOFNMB), Latin American Society of Nuclear Medicine and Biology (ALASBINM),
and the Arab Society of Nuclear Medicine (ARSNM), for their contribution and endorsement of this
publication. The IAEA officers responsible for this publication were D. Paez, T. Pascual and F.
Giammarile, of the Division of Human Health.