dr. Andreea Cristina Cazacu, Romania
I learned about the EFPT programme by pure casualty. At first I was skeptical but I thought I should give it a try. Looking at the vacancies my eyes laid on the programmes in Croatia. Some may ask why Croatia! Well it’s simple: a lot of well presented projects and of course my love for Croatia and for all that it has to offer.
After being accepted I decided for one month of training mainly from the need to learn as many things as possible without being pressed by time. In the end it was a really good choice and I truly advise everyone to go for more than 2 weeks. Another great advantage for choosing Zagreb is the fact that you actually live in the hospital. Thus, it’s easier to get used with the new environment. Don’t worry about the language everybody knows English and you will get the chance to communicate with many patients.
When you decide to get out of your comfort zone you cannot help feeling uncertainty and the idea of things ending out really bad crosses your mind. It is something that I felt when I landed in Croatia. It was not my first trip here but it was the first time I came regarding my profession. All my fears disappeared from the moment I got in touch with the entire personnel of the hospital.
I was assigned on the Rehabilitation ward where my supervisor was in charge. I must confess that here everything was new mainly because this branch is not that developed in Romania. Almost every day was a challenge from which I learned more than I could ever imagine. It simply enlarged my perspectives about patient’s reintegration in society.
Because my stay lasted one month I got the chance to get inside many wards and to see as a whole the Croatian psychiatric system. Apart from the Rehabilitation ward, I’ve been on the addiction ward, emergency and intensive care ward and I got the chance to actually observe patients in the occupational therapies. It was amazing to see how psychiatrist and therapists work for the well being of patients.
Apart from the professional aspect I have to say that everyone, especially the local EFPT coordinators and all residents from the wards I have been did their best to help me accommodate in Zagreb. You become part of a great family.
This programme is absolutely incredible for young psychiatrists. Besides the chance of learning a different approach to psychiatric disorders it is a great opportunity to test your knowledge. After such an experience you become more secure on your decisions, you enlarge your therapeutic options, you learn how to look at one problem from different angles even if you have the same means at hand. It is an opportunity for you to become more open minded, to become more sociable, to create connections that might last a life time.
The EFPT programme in Zagreb is well done with a lot of options from where you can choose. I truly advice everyone not to overlook this country’s programmes. Analyze them well and if one suits you try it because you will not regret. After the Croatian experience you will feel like being part of a family.