The theme for this year’s country poster session was “Gateways of Hope”. The prize for best country poster was shared by two countries:
The 25th European Forum of Psychiatric Trainees, that took place in Istanbul at the beginning of July, was the most challenging, yet rewarding among all EFPT Forums so far from the Polish NTA’s perspective. It all started in Spring – the first rays of sun after a long and exhausting winter gave us all motivation to start brainstorming about our participation in the event to make it truly meaningful. The first key decision was to identify those trainees willing to travel to Turkey and proudly represent Poland – we wanted to prioritize new members to ensure a satisfying level of freshness and creativity within the further discussions. After a couple of announcements shared through social media by Tomasz Gondek, Chair of the Specialty Training Section of the Polish Psychiatric Association, we were flooded with applications from all over the country. In only few hours we had enough candidates to create not one, but three delegations! Overwhelmed with work at the local level, we postponed our planning phase until June. And then the whole subtle plan collapsed: one by one participants-to-be resigned for various reasons and mid-June there was only one person on the list (and this person was me!).
A few days before the beginning of the 25th EFPT Forum I was sitting in front of an empty paper doodling with my pen, not sure how to avoid boring templates and clichés when presenting our NTA’s work under the theme “Gateways of hope”. Totally drained of energy and motivation. Then I realized that this is the time to think outside the box. To make a change first you need to believe in it. Next is to convince others to follow you! This is how I came to the idea of a poster inspired by a true (revolutionary) art piece: old Soviet propaganda materials for “common people”. I have entitled it, slightly changing a popular slogan used back then “With a great labor we will fulfill the plan!” and decided to focus on 4 pillars of the change: 1) joint efforts of all young Polish doctors associated in “Porozumienie Rezydentów” (“Trainees’ Alliance”) to fight for fair earnings and decent working conditions 2) efforts of the NTA’s local branches to keep our work more to the needs of regular psychiatry trainees 3) summer schools planned in cooperation with the Polish Psychiatric Association 4) internships for medical students led by young psychiatrists (& trainees) to fight the stigmatization of this very delicate field of medicine. It turned out to hit the bullseye and Poland received its first EFPT Poster Award ever!
I must admit that the 25th European Forum of Psychiatric Trainees was an intense, packed experience, both from a professional and social point of view. It also brought some unexpected changes to my own life, as I decided to take up the position of Chair within the Research Working Group. It means that we will see each other next year at the 26th Forum in Bristol… meanwhile take care Comrades!
The Latvian Young Psychiatrist section is a subsection of the Latvian Psychiatric Association and it consists of psychiatry trainees and young colleagues. The aim of our section is to inspire young colleagues in their professional development, implement educational projects, support each other and share acquired knowledge.
We decided to make our poster in a special way and compiled it from various moments that we have experienced, because life is like a camera.
We focus on what seems important, capture the good experiences, learn from the negative ones and, when necessary, come back and take another shot.
One of this year’s big projects was made in collaboration with The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) of Latvia. Psychiatry trainees delivered lectures in different Latvian schools with the aim of decreasing stigma about mental health and psychiatry among pupils. The project had a very good feedback from both the audience and participants. We plan to continue it during the next year.
This spring an international film festival MedFest was led by our psychiatric trainees and held in Rīga Stradiņš University, with the aim of raising the profile of mental health issues. It was free to attend and open to everyone interested.
Paediatric and Psychiatric trainees collaborated to arrange an educational seminar for both specialities to discuss relevant topics together.
Our trainees actively participated in different conferences, congresses, summer schools and seminars. We also engaged in exchange programmes and work experience abroad, namely in Iceland and Sweden. We are proud of our colleagues’ achievements during these activities. We are truly glad and proud for our colleague Liene Berze who won the best trainee award in Rīga Stradiņš University.
We are very happy that we participated in this year’s EFPT Forum in amazing Istanbul and grateful to have received a bursary that made our participation possible.