Ana-Maria Simundic [*] [1]

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Understanding the complexity and heterogeneity of the educational systems, across Europe, aids in the identification of new initiatives in defining the core competences and skills necessary to practice the profession. Basic education of those who practice laboratory medicine, in European countries, may be in medicine, pharmacy, biochemistry or science. Their postgraduate education may last quite a variable time: from several months to several years, depending on the country. Some countries have established official registers and licensing system, whereas others may still not have that. In some countries profession is regulated by law, whereas in others that is not the case.
Harmonization and common regulation of the undergraduate and postgraduate education and vocational training programs in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine in various EU countries has therefore become the top priority within the European community.

In this themed issue we deliver a series of articles describing the way professionals practicing laboratory medicine are educated and trained in several European countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine and Greece. I wish to thank to all authors for their valuable contribution. I hope that readers will appreciate their efforts and read this special issue with great interest.