Belgium is a small but very complex country, with two regions that often experience difficulty incommunicating with each other. Realising how poor ourcontacts were with our colleagues from other universities, a group of trainees from Brussels decided to create APFBF, whichstands for Association des Psychiatres en Formation de Belgique Francophone and translates in English as Association of Psychiatrists in Training from French-speaking Belgium.
The NTA’s complex name is very explicit about the motivation behind its creation: “French-speaking Belgium” because there is also a Dutch-speaking Belgium; “psychiatrists in training” because, even within our region, there is no common nomination for our job! It is our desire to gather these otherwise very dispersed trainees and represent them, and thus that we we created our NTA in 2016.
In only one year of existence we have already had several adventures : multiple meetings between the three faculties of French-speaking Belgium; outreach to our Dutch-speaking colleagues and fellow European trainees, namely through our participation at EFPT forums in Antwerp (2016) and in Istanbul (2017); and meeting our elders in Belgium who very kindly invited us to participate in their own meetings. Together we have attended conferences and very proudly organised two one-day symposia in Brussels, as well as dinners and informal gatherings.
We were surprised how the creation of this NTA was an important catalyst for this communication between trainees, which we were so avid to encourage.
We are eager to pursue this adventure, to which European collaboration EFPT adds a whole new range of possibilities and boosts our enthusiasm!
We therefore thank very warmly all the fellow EFPT member-countries for welcoming us in the family.