Porto Forum: A note on the Leadership and Professional Skills Course

Porto 2015 Leadership CourseIt was great to take part as one of the twelve participants in the Pre-Forum Leadership and Professional Skills Course. I’m delighted to have met our Professors Norman Sartorius and Sir David Goldberg and all of the friends I made during the course. Here, I will share my impressions from this course, which I can strongly recommend to all EFPT trainees.

The topics we discussed during the course were essential parts of our daily practice, like how to make a presentation or how to reply to a difficult question from a patient’s relative. However, the proper way to overcome these challenges is not a part of the medical or postgraduate psychiatric curricula. I felt the need for training in these practical skills, which was one of the reasons I was interested in the course. I believe this is also the situation for most of my colleagues.

Porto 2015 Leadership CourseFor three days of intensive training, we focused on how to express our knowledge, how to share the results of our research, how to convince other people of our aims. The encouraging teaching environment of the course, with constructive criticisms from our teachers facilitated our active participation in the sessions, which rendered this experience long-lasting.

I believe not only our experience, but also our friendship as participants of the course will remain. Thanks to the organising committee, we had a great deal of fun after the lectures, enjoyed interesting discussions and visited the World of Discoveries Museum of Porto. After the course, many of us had the courage to take further step forward and stand for different positions within EFPT. I’m sure I’ll see my friends as leaders of their clinic, association or whichever path they choose as a career.

Porto 2015 Leadership CourseI’m very grateful to the local organising committee of Porto Forum and our distinguished Professors for organizing this course. Hopefully, more psychiatric trainees will have the opportunity to gain these skills through such courses or even better, as part of their training. Finally, I’m happy to report that we are planning to organise the Leadership and Professional Skills Course in Turkey, as part of the 25th EFPT Forum in 2017.

Ekin Sönmez
EFPT President-Elect