By Marianne de Visser
Dear EAN members, colleagues and friends,
First of all, I would like to wish you a very happy holiday season. As we approach the end of 2019, we can look back on another highly productive year for EAN with yet another successful congress. The number of delegates was an all-time high and we can boast on eminent keynote speakers, and well-attended scientific sessions and teaching courses. As our main mission is to promote excellence in neurology across Europe, we aim to continue this success and hard work into the future. With that in mind, I would like to tell you a little about some recent changes and plans that EAN has in order to support this important mission to the benefit of neurologists and patients throughout Europe.
As with any profession or medical discipline, training, education and fostering the next generation – the human capital – is a vital element in ensuring future excellence. EAN is committed to nurturing young and aspiring neurologists and researchers in neurology. EAN’s Resident and Research Fellow Section (RRFS) aims to represent, inform, and help neurology trainees at an international level, including those who wish to spend time in other countries for clinical training or research. It also focuses on connecting neurologists in training for clinical exchange and support, and on building a platform for communication among junior neurologists. RRFS has representatives in the Education Committee, Programme Committee, Teaching Course Subcommittee, Quality and Ethics Taskforce, and Communication Committee. As an established and highly active part of EAN, the RRFS has seen a lot of success in facilitating those at an earlier stage of their career to develop their talents in clinical neurology or in neuroscience research over the years. In order to further enhance its effectiveness, some innovations will be introduced to give the RRFS more inclusion in EAN activities. These mean giving the RRFS more interaction with the EAN Board, in order to share their viewpoint with EAN leadership; appoint a dedicated RRFS officer for communication issues, to enhance the visibility of RRFS initiatives and activities; and reinforce the role of RRFS members in the Scientific Panels, combining their fresh ideas and approaches with experienced and specialised experts. Adapting the eligibility criteria in order to make the RRFS fully representative of residents and researchers is also to be introduced, allowing us to include resident and researchers and a wider variety of career stages.
This is to mention just some of the many great ideas and improvements discussed by the EAN Board members in the recent Strategy Meeting as ways to bolster the practice of neurology in Europe. In addition, further innovations to encourage leadership skills and provide mentoring to less experienced colleagues were discussed and are areas of future development for EAN.
Of course, all such new idea and innovations do not come only from the Board members themselves. These are the product of vital feedback from individuals at all levels of EAN, which is then given in-depth and thorough consideration by the Board. I am proud of this bottom-up approach and the opportunity it gives our society to develop and improve to meet the needs of neurologists all over Europe.
Excelent initiative! Looking forward to it!