Contributed by Prof. Elizabeta Topic, President CSMB
Croatian Society of Medical Biochemists (CSMB) was founded in 1953 as a voluntary non-profit scientific and professional society of medical biochemists. Until 1988, the Society was part of the Croatian Pharmacists Society, and then it became independent. At present, it has over 850 members (graduates, specialists, members with Master of Science or Ph.D. involved in health care systems, research, education and clinical laboratory corporations). In Croatia, the term medical biochemist corresponds to the terms clinical biochemist, clinical chemist or similar other terms used worldwide, designating a professional in medical biochemistry laboratory covering clinical chemistry, hematology, coagulation, immunology, analytical toxicology and molecular diagnostics. Formal education of medical biochemists is as follows: 5 years at a University School of Pharmacy and Medical Biochemistry, one year training at University Department of Laboratory Diagnosis, and then a state exam for license (this license must be renewed every six years) to work in Medical Biochemistry Laboratories. Specialization in medical biochemistry takes four years and is divided into two stages. One year is organized as lecture courses (the same as the first year of Postgraduate Study of Medical Biochemistry), while three years comprise residency, mainly at University Departments of Laboratory Diagnosis at University Hospitals and partly at specialized medical biomedical laboratories in general or specialized hospitals. Laboratories have been accredited by the Ministry of Health for teaching graduates, according to a proposal from the School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry and CSMB. In general, a laboratory professional specialist in medical biochemistry has spent 9 years of education in total.
The governing body of CSMB is the Council, which consists of one representative appointed by 10 members of CSMB. It meets annually at CSMB Symposium. Between Council meetings, the business of CSMB is conducted by the Executive Board (EB), which is elected by the Council. The EB consists of the President, Vice-President, Past-President, Treasurer and presidents of the five Society branches. The CSMB-EB normally meets four times a year, and committee representatives attend at least two meetings per year. CSMB Committees reporting to EB are: (1) Organizational, Legal and Legislative Issues, (2) Education, (3) International Cooperation, (4) Professional and Scientific Development, (5) External Quality Assessment, (6) Computerization and Public Communication, and (7) Award Committee. Along with EB there are the Supervisory Board and Court of Honor. EB may appoint task forces to address specific issues. By the Society Statute, the term of EB lasts four years and can be reelected.
The Society has been a full member of IFCC since 1972, at first as part of the Yugoslav Society of Medical Biochemists and since 1992 as the independent Croatian Society of Medical Biochemists. In 1988, CSMB was among founders of FESCC and in 1994, CSMB became FESCC member. CSMB is also part of the regional Alps Adria Society since its foundation.
The CSMB Committee on External Quality Assessment is member of European group of organizations involved in the external quality assessment of laboratory medicine services - EQALM.
The Society activities involve organization of annual symposia, national congresses with international participation every three years, and monthly meetings of the Society branches. CSMB and Slovenian Association of Clinical Chemistry organize a symposium biannually, its venue being alternately in Croatia and Slovenia. In 2001, together with Slovenian Association of Clinical Chemistry, CSMB launched annual courses entitled FESCC Postgraduate Courses of Continuing Education in Clinical Chemistry at Interuniversity Center Dubrovnik, within the frame of FESCC. The success of this kind of education has led to the agreement between FESCC and IUC on further cooperation. Tables 1 and 2 present CSMB activities regarding congresses and FESCC Courses organization. The Congresses were under the auspices of IFCC and FESCC. Many renowned professionals have attended the Congresses either as lecturers or as participants. This year, The 5th Croatian Congress of Medical Biochemistry will take place on Oct 18-22 in Porec, picturesque town on the Istria peninsula, and The 6th FESCC Course on November 11-12 in Dubrovnik. World known experts in the field are expected to contribute to these meetings by their presents and/or lectures.
One of the main tasks of the CSMB Committee of External Quality Assessment is the national External Quality Assessment (EQA) of clinical laboratories, launched in 1970. The program has been designed in line with the Croatian Acts on Health Care and on Medical Biochemistry Profession. Results of EQA present a part of the criteria that have to be met on laboratory supervision.
CSMB publications and communication
CSMB currently publishes the scientific journal Biochemia Medica, which will from now on be printed bilingually, in Croatian and English, and a Newsletter four times a year. These publications also appear in the e-form on the web.
The Society has its own web site with all relevant information for the members and very useful links to important addresses.
At the end I would like to stress that HDMB has continuously very good cooperation with IFCC and members of CSMB have been actively participating in the work of various activities of IFCC through IFCC Committees or working groups as members or associate members. Of course this collaboration could certainly be made closer and stronger ensuring the dissemination and implementation of all statements which have been adopted at the IFCC level.
Table 1: CONGRESSESS ORGANIZED BY MEDICAL BIOCHEMISTS IN CROATIA
2006: The Fifth Croatian Congress of Medical Biochemists (With International Participation), Porec
2003: The Fourth Croatian Congress of Medical Biochemists (with International participation), Zadar
2000: Alps - Adria Congress of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Opatija
1999: The Third Croatian Congress of Medical Biochemists (with International participation), Vukovar
1996: The Second Croatian Congress of Medical Biochemists (with International participation), Pula
1993: The First Croatian Congress of Medical Biochemists (with International participation), Zagreb
1983: Sixth Yugoslav Congress of Medical Biochemists, Split
1963: First Yugoslav Congress of Medical Biochemists, Zagreb
1955: First General Meeting of Medical Biochemists, Zagreb
Accuracy and specificity of standard urine tests.
Table 2: FESCC COURSES AT INTERUNIVERSITY CENTER DUBROVNIK
2005: The 5th FESCC Continuous Postgraduate Course in Clinical Chemistry New Trends in Classification, Monitoring and Management of Autoimmune Diseases, Dubrovnik
2004: The 4th FESCC Continuous Postgraduate Course in Clinical Chemistry:
New Trends in Diagnosis, Monitoring and Management of Tumor
2003: The 3rd FESCC Continuous Postgraduate Course in Clinical Chemistry: New Trends in Classification, Monitoring and Management of Neurological Diseases, Dubrovnik
2002: The 2nd FESCC Continuous Postgraduate Course in Clinical Chemistry: New Trends in Classification, Monitoring and Management of Cardiovascular Diseases, Dubrovnik
2001: The 1st FESCC Continuous Postgraduate Course in Clinical Chemistry: New Trends in Classification, Monitoring and Management of Diabetes Mellitus, Dubrovnik