Is it just me or does the time really fly by? Can’t believe it’s summer already and we’re leaving Hogwarts again!
For this issue of the EFPT Newsletter, I decided to come together with some dear friends of the EFPT CAP Working Group, ANIPIA from Portugal.
ANIPIA is the Portuguese CAP Trainee Association. Yeah, I can hear you asking: There are not many of those around, right?
You’ll see below our chat with Dr. Ana Moscoso (A.M.) – one of the founders of the organization and a predecessor of the EFPT CAP Secretary position! –, and Dr. Ana Teresa Prata (A.P.) – one of the former presidents of ANIPIA – about the story of starting and maintaining such an association.
I hope you enjoy reading about it and get inspired to take action!
What is ANIPIA?
A.P.: ANIPIA, the National association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatric trainees in Portugal. It was founded in 2011.
How did you decide to start ANIPIA?
A.M.: Our participation as observers in the EFPT Forum in 2010 (Dubrovnik) was the catalyser that helped us start the association. ANIPIA was founded to have a representative voice at a National level and at a European level.
How was the founding process?
A.M.: Bureaucracy was a bit challenging, but not being too many in terms of trainee numbers helped. From the very start, the specialist association was very supportive. We were able to have our first meeting with their help. I remember with joy the day we took our decisions to the office that approves associations and rendered it official.
For that first meeting, we even managed to attract some attention of CAP specialist. We were also able to invite international colleagues through our personal contacts from EFPT!
What were the major challenges?
A.M.: One important concern we had since the beginning was to maintain an independent association (independent of the senior CAP association, independent from the adult psychiatric trainees’ association). After some time, creating sustainable sources of income (to run the official website, for instance) were also concerns.
But to be honest, I remember the positives and the excitement more vividly! So, I definitely recommend it!
How do you think it’s beneficial for CAPs trainees to have an individual CAP trainee association?
A.M.: ANIPIA gave CAP trainees an official voice. That meant participating in academic thought (through the scientific meetings, for instance) but also in national CAP training issues, such as the training program and training conditions. Not only we were heard, but we were also more active in listening to what was happening around us. ANIPIA allow us to contribute to the present and future of CAP in our country and that is very exciting.
How is ANIPIA cooperating with other associations?
A.P: We do that almost regularly. For example, we have discounted membership fees for ANIPIA members who also want to join the specialist CAP association. Some other psychiatric associations do have similar discounts as well.
We also invite CAP specialists, psychiatrists, psychiatry trainees and paediatricians to our annual meetings.
How is ANIPIA involved in shaping CAP training in Portugal?
A.P: ANIPIA had contributed to the improvement of the training scheme, and worked with specialists in the process. ANIPIA also contributes to the final evaluation and qualification process and its criteria.
In terms of organizing training ourselves, when we feel like there is need of or room for improvement on a certain topic, we contact each other and the relevant associations. For example, we are organizing a CBT training tailored for CAPs with the CBT association.
We sometimes can give statements about relevant issues, mainly training related matters.
How do you see the future of ANIPIA?
A.P.: With great hope J We’re growing and doing more.
The good thing is, people are more and more appreciating the effort and the potential, and they’re reaching for us.
They are expecting things from us which means that we do have representative power.
Any message for EFPT? ?
A.M.: Creating an independent CAP trainee association was nothing but good news in our country. I would strongly recommend the same in countries where there’s still a gap in CAP trainee’s voices.
In the end, this also the spirit of EFPT, to give voice to trainees all around Europe, to actively participate in training conditions and improve them (while having fun!).