Last year brought some important changes to the EFPT Establishing a National Trainee Association (ENTA) Working Group. This is probably the smallest but certainly an essential working group. Its general aim is to initiate contact with psychiatric trainees in countries that have no organisation dedicated to them, encourage them to join EFPT and help them create such an organisation. After a few very successful years, the group had to re-define its precise goals. The majority of European countries has already had national trainee associations, with their members actively participating in the EFPT Fora, while it has become increasingly difficult to find psychiatric trainees from other countries, that would show interest in joining EFPT. However, it changed during the EFPT Forum in London, with new colleagues attending the meeting for the first time.
From Wroclaw to London
Mariana Pinto da Costa, the current EFPT President, visited Wroclaw, Poland in April 2014, to attend Professor Sartorius’ Leadership Course, during which she promoted EFPT and, along with EFPT CAP Secretary, Thanos Kanellopoulos, encouraged other participants to attend the Forum in London. And it has brought results: three months later four young physicians from Wroclaw decided to attend the meeting for the first time and joined various working groups. I joined the ENTA Working Group and, with Marko Vrbnjak stepping down, I was elected the new chair of this group, determining establishing a trainee association in Poland as one of my primary tasks. I officially took over in December, while Marko, having a vast experience that consisted of helping create organisations in Slovenia, Norway, Lithuania and Ukraine, has been an invaluable advisor since then.
Dinner in Madrid & contact with Spanish trainees
On 15 September 2014, during the World Psychiatric Association Congress in Madrid, there was a special dinner for young psychiatrists, which was organised by our colleagues from Spain. During the dinner, Mariana Pinto da Costa promoted the EFPT, while Marko Vrbnjak encouraged Spanish trainees to make an effort in order to create their own organisation, presented a ‘Do It Yourself’ manual on how to establish a national trainee association and offered the EFPT ENTA Working Group support in every phase of this process. The presentations then led to a discussion on what mistakes had been done before, during the previous attempt at forming a Spanish association, and what should be done to avoid them in the future. The dinner and promotion was a success, it attracted plenty of trainees from Spain and many regular EFPT members. The Spanish trainees were also officially invited by the President to the EFPT Forum in Porto.
Pictured: EFPT meets Spanish colleagues, Madrid.
Congress in Wisla
On 11-13 December 2014, Maja Krefft, Irena Wojciechowska and I took part in the 8th International Congress of Psychiatry Medforum in Wisla, Poland, during which we promoted EFPT and the idea of establishing a trainee association in Poland. We also presented the Polish results of the Brain Drain Survey. The audience consisted of about thirty psychiatric trainees and interns interested in psychiatry. We had quite a long and substantial discussion on how to build our association. The general consensus was to make it a section of the Polish Psychiatric Association, since we received a strong voice of support from the secretary of the organisation. We are going to make the necessary preparations and hopefully finalize this process with a founding assembly in the coming months. We consider this opportunity a big step forward for us, with many persons signing up to get involved in the initiative and offering their help. The chances for Poland to become an official member of the EFPT have never been that good.
Pictured: Irena Wojciechowska, Maja Krefft and Tomasz Gondek (Chair) promoting EFPT and the idea of establishing a Polish psychiatric trainees’ association at 8th International Congress Psychiatry Medforum 2014 in Wisla, Poland.
Last months proved to be an active period for the EFPT ENTA Working Group. Our most important aims are now moving forward with establishing trainee association in Poland, being of constant assistance to Petra Marinova who is aiming at creating a parallel organisation in Bulgaria, as well as helping our Spanish colleagues in this delicate moment of appointing new leaders who hopefully will shape their future association. Lately we have also been in touch with new trainees from Spain who are eager to join EFPT and we hope this will materialise soon. We also intend to contact trainees from countries that are full EFPT members but did not attend the Forum in London: dear Colleagues, I hope we will meet in Porto this year!
Tomasz M. Gondek,
EFPT ENTA Working Group Chair