The European Association of Young Neurologists and Trainees in 2013: striking a blow for European junior neurologists

Authors

  • A. Macerollo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neuroscience and Sense Organs, Aldo Moro University of Bari, Bari, Italy
    2. Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
    • Correspondence: A. Macerollo, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK (tel.: +44 77 7681 3575, +39 32 0842 2554; fax: +44 2034488604; e-mail: antonella.mac@hotmail.com).

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  • E. T. Varga,

    1. Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
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  • O. Györfi,

    1. Second Clinic of Neurology, Mures County Emergency Hospital, Targu-Mures, Romania
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  • X. Kobeleva,

    1. Department of Neurology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany
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  • R. W. Paterson,

    1. Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
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  • J. Sellner

    1. Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, München, Germany
    2. Department of Neurology, Christian-Doppler-Klinik, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria
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Abstract

Background and purpose

The main objective of the European Association of Young Neurologists and Trainees (EAYNT), an independent Brussels-based association of junior neurologists, is to represent and promote the interests of European junior neurologists.

Methods and results

A wide variety of projects and activities are ongoing, carried out by members of the organization in close collaboration with major European and National Neurology bodies. Most recently, we surveyed European junior neurologists about their views on the European Board of Neurology Examination, the status of e-learning in postgraduate neurology training and migration patterns of young neurologists.

Conclusions

The aim of this paper is to outline the current and future activities of the EAYNT. We run a series of lectures (‘EAYNT special sessions’) at the major European conferences and disseminate information to young neurologists at the EAYNT booth. We provide information about travel grants, fellowships as well as sharing personal experiences of working abroad. EAYNT members have the opportunity to sit on the scientific subcommittees of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) and European Neurological Society (ENS), to chair poster sessions and review abstracts. Furthermore, we continue to provide a forum for young neurologists from all over Europe to network and socialize by means of get-together events and hospital visits.

Introduction

The European Union (EU) is an economical and political union of 27 member states with a population surpassing 500 million in 2012. Health care and education in the EU is provided through a wide variety of systems managed at a national level. Hence, working conditions, quality of training and the concept of patient care is considerably different within the EU [1-4].

The European Association of Young Neurologists and Trainees (EAYNT) was founded in 1999, and continues to be the only organization in Europe to specifically represent the interests of junior neurologists and trainees [5, 6]. The motives behind the foundation of a volunteer-based non-profit organization run by junior doctors who would have a voice at European and national level were manifold. On the one hand it was crucial to form a strong proxy in a changing pan-European labor market, the collection and transmission of information about medical specialization and disparities in working conditions throughout Europe, and the desire to provide a framework for collective expression and proposal development on behalf of these physicians. On the other hand it was necessary to provide a platform for junior colleagues to form friendships and intercultural exchange, and concertedly tackle upcoming challenges of the 21st century. Subsequently, junior representatives from two European neurology working groups – the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) and the European Neurological Society (ENS) – came together and founded the EAYNT. Despite its independence since then, the EAYNT collaborates closely with the EFNS and the ENS with the aim of improving clinical training, providing access to exchange programs and career opportunities for European junior neurologists [7, 8]. In addition, the EAYNT has gained an excellent reputation for promoting education of junior neurologists [9, 10]. The EAYNT was actively involved in the development of the e-learning resource ebrain, which was launched most recently (http://www.ebrainjnc.com). This initiative is the world's largest, most comprehensive web-based training resource in clinical neuroscience, and members of the EFNS (via your national neurology organization) and the ENS are given free access. Interested readers may also check our most recent article on e-learning preferences of junior neurologists [11].

The office of the EAYNT has prepared a stimulating program for 2013, outlined below. In addition, we provide a list of summer schools for European junior neurologists that may be of interest.

Activities in 2013

The EAYNT at the regional teaching courses (RTCs) of the EFNS: Odessa, Ukraine and Skopje, Macedonia

Since 2009, EAYNT representatives have been invited to lecture on matters for junior neurologists at the EFNS RTCs. The kickoff for the EAYNT activities in 2013 will be at the RTC scheduled in Odessa, Ukraine (25–27 April 2013). Neurorehabilitation and cognitive neurology will be covered. The second RTC will take place in Skopje, Macedonia (16–18 May 2013), and epilepsy and stroke will be the main focus. This is a great opportunity for our association to get in touch with colleagues who may not have the opportunity to attend EAYNT activities abroad. We will provide information about the role of the EAYNT, about how one might apply for a travel grant (including the EAYNT travel grants) and the training opportunities abroad, including the Open Facilities for Training in European Neurology (OFTEN) program, which is maintained by the EAYNT [12].

Advice: further details can be found on the EFNS homepage for Odessa (http://www.efns.org/RTC-in-Odessa-Ukraine.885.0.html) and Skopje (http://www.efns.org/RTC-in-Skopje-Macedonia.886.0.html).

The EAYNT at the 15th EFNS Spring School, 9–12 May 2013, Stare Splavy, Czech Republic (former EFNS Academy for Young Neurologists)

The core topics of this year's Spring School are headache, dementia and gait disorders. On 12 May, Orsolya Györfi of the EAYNT will give an overview of the organization and the scientific opportunities within the EFNS [7]. She will also provide an update about the European Board of Neurology examination and the report on the results of the survey performed by the EAYNT [13].

Advice: accommodation, tuition, board and program are sponsored by the EFNS. Participants pay only for their travel. All neurologists from European countries under the age of 40 years are eligible (born 1973 or later). The deadline for application is 31 January 2013, details at http://www.efns.org/EFNS-Spring-School-for-Young-Neurologists.255.0.html.

The EAYNT at the 23rd Meeting of the ENS, 8–11 June 2013, Barcelona, Spain

EAYNT Special Session ‘Emerging clinical and career prospects for junior neurologists’ on 9 June 2013

The EAYNT Special Session ‘Emerging clinical and career prospects for junior neurologists’ is scheduled on 9 June 2013. Useful career tips will be provided by Massimo Filippi (Milan, Italy), the importance of neurogenetics will be highlighted in the lecture of Maria J. Molnar (Budapest, Hungary), and advice for subspecialization will be given by EAYNT past-president Edina T. Varga from Budapest, Hungary (Fig. 1). The office of the EAYNT has prepared a stimulating program for 2013, outlined below.

Figure 1.

The European Association of Young Neurologists and Trainees (EAYNT) office 2013 (from left to right): Edina T. Varga (past-president; Budepest, Hungary); Antonella Macerollo (president; Bari, Italy and London, UK); Orsolya Györfi (secretary; Targu-Mures, Romania); and Xenia Kobeleva (treasurer; Hannover, Germany).

ENS–EAYNT Session ‘Translational Neurology – a challenge for clinician-scientists’ on 10 June 2013

Translational Neurology pertains to the bridging of technologies and discoveries in the laboratory with clinical research and practice. In this regard, clinician-scientists have brought a unique perspective to biomedical research that is inspired by their personal experience in caring for patients. Yet, there has been growing concern over the past three decades that the number of young academics striving for a career as a clinician-scientist is declining [14]. This special session, an initiative of the ENS and the EAYNT, is coordinated by Johann Sellner (Salzburg, Austria) and aims at illustrating the attractiveness of translational medicine as a career prospect for junior neurologists. The speakers will highlight their personal ‘bench to bedside’ experience and illustrate key moments in their career. The ENS–EAYNT Session entitled ‘Translational Neurology – a challenge for clinician-scientists’ will be on 10 June 2013, and will include the following lectures: Coma (Steven Laureys, Liege, Belgium); Vertigo (Marianne Dieterich, Munich, Germany); Neuroimaging (Franz Fazekas, Graz, Austria).

Visit for young neurologists to the Department of Neurology-Neuroimmunology of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and get together event on 9 June 2013

A young neurologists' hospital visit will take place during the ENS meeting on the evening of Sunday 9 June 2013. Previous hospital visits at ENS conferences in Milan (2009), Berlin (2010), Lisbon (2011) and Prague (2012) proved popular with junior colleagues interested in gaining insights into the fascinating spectrum of European clinical and academic neurology within Europe, and have now become something of a tradition. The visit to the Department of Neurology-Neuroimmunology of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital is possible thanks to Congress President Prof. Xavier Montalban. His co-worker Prof. Jordi Rio and local residents will give an overview of residency training in Catalonia, and present recent clinical and scientific highlights from the department. Moreover, we can expect insights into their clinical approach to acute neurology and other subspecialties. We particularly look forward to visiting their world-renowned multiple sclerosis center.

The visit will be followed by a meal at a typical Catalan restaurant. Further information will be available at the www.eaynt.org homepage in March 2013 – registration will be possible exclusively via the contacts provided on the homepage on a first come first served basis. Early registration is highly recommended following experience from recent years. The hospital visit will be free of charge, expenses in the restaurant and the party need to be covered individually by the participants.

Poster-chair initiative for junior neurologists

In 2009, the Executive Committee of the ENS agreed to accept nominations of junior neurologists to act as poster-chairs at their annual conferences. Since then, the EAYNT has implemented the selection and nomination of junior colleagues with an excellent scientific record. Hence, it is our great pleasure to announce this unique opportunity for junior neurologists at the ENS conference in Barcelona. Criteria of eligibility and further details are announced on the EAYNT homepage (www.eaynt.org). Both self-nominations and recommendations by department chairs will be considered. The deadline for applications for the ENS Meeting is 19 January 2013.

Advice: check for updates of the EAYNT program: http://www.congrex.ch/ens2013/scientific-programme/young-doctors-visit.html. Apply for the Young Neurologist in Training offer from the ENS. This great bursary covers free congress registration, free admission to three half-day teaching courses and free accommodation for 4 days. Eligible are European neurologists in training, born on or after 1 January 1978. Details: http://www.congrex.ch/ens2013/youngneurologist.html.

The EAYNT at the joint World Federation of Neurology (WFN), EFNS and Austrian Neurological Society Conference, 21–26 September 2013 in Vienna, Austria

Special Session for junior neurologists in collaboration with the International Working Group of Young Neurologists and Trainees (IWGYNT) on 25 September 2013

At the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) 2013, a free half-day course on junior neurologist matters is scheduled on 25 September 2013. This event is organized by the IWGYNT (http://www.wfneurology.org/iwgynt-delegates), which is led by Walter Struhal (Linz, Austria). Speakers from all over the world will give invaluable insights to worldwide junior neurologist initiatives and neurology training in their respective continents. Neurology training in Australia will be covered by Kate Ahmad, in Europe by Xenia Kobeleva, and in Africa by Faustin Yepnijo. Tissa Wijeratne will illustrate the recent work of the Asia Pacific Association of Young Neurologists and Trainees (APAYNET), while Surat Tanprawate will report aspects of neurology training in South East Asia (SEA). The structure of neurological training in the Indian subcontinent will be explained by Man Mohan Mehndiratta. Rufus Akinyemi will compare his educational experiences in Nigeria and the UK. Johann Sellner will tell about scientific opportunities for junior neurologists in Europe.

Visit for young neurologists to the Department of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna and social event on 23 September 2012 during the WCN

A visit to the renowned General Hospital of Vienna for up to 80 junior colleagues will take place on 23 September 2013 on kind invitation by Prof. Eduard Auff. His residents will provide an overview of residency training in Austria, the concept of emergency service in Vienna and a peek behind the curtains of the wards. The General Hospital in Vienna was founded in 1846 by Ludwig Türck (1810–1868). He is known for his contribution in neuroanatomy (Türck's bundle, Türck's column and Türck's tract), and for introducing methods to study fiber tracts [15]. Further pioneers of the Viennese Neurological School of the early years include Theodor von Meynert (1833–1892), Heinrich Obersteiner (1847–1922) and his young scholar Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) [16].

This event will be followed by the traditional EAYNT social event – this year you can expect a memorable evening at a typical Viennese restaurant, where you will have plenty of opportunities to make friends with colleagues from all over the world. In addition, we also have planned a party (Fig. 2).

Figure 2.

Group photo from the European Association of Young Neurologists and Trainees (EAYNT) hospital visit in 2012 to the Department of Neurology, Huddinge Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Advice: apply for congress bursaries http://www2.kenes.com/wcn/scientific/Pages/Bursaries.aspx. Check for EAYNT announcements in World Neurology (http://www.wfneurology.org/world-neurology). Register early for the EAYNT activities in Vienna (www.eaynt.org).

Other recommended European educational initiatives (bursaries available)

Summer School of the European Stroke Initiative (ESO) 2013 in Perugia, Italy. Details: http://www.eso-stroke.org/summer_school.php?cid=4711.

Winter School of the Movement Disorder Society, European Section (MDS-ES) from 1 to 3 March 2013 in Tartu, Estonia. Details: http://www.movementdisorders.org/regional_sections/es/winter_school/2013/.

Baltic Sea Summer School on Epilepsy from 18 to 23 August 2013, near Tallinn, Estonia. Details: http://www.epilepsiestiftung-wolf.de/7.html.

Training Course of the European Pediatric Neurology Society (EPNS) from 6 to 9 May 2013 in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Details: http://www.epns.info.www.i-ssl.net/index.php?c=4&ss=19.

Conclusion

The activities of the EAYNT have become an integral part of the neurology conference scene in Europe. The EAYNT office cordially invites you to take part in these events. In order to get the latest news by means of the EAYNT newsletter, it is advisable to register on the EAYNT homepage. Registration and membership is free – join the community of more than 800 European junior neurologists. In addition, we are glad to help you with questions via the internal forum of the homepage as well as at conference booths during major conferences (2013: ENS, WCN). Your input is highly appreciated!

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the EFNS and ENS for their continued support.

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