The Russian delegation was rewarded with the Excellence Award for their work on filling the gap between psychiatrists and GPs in Russia. Pavel Alfimov explains more about the project:
There has always been a communication problem between psychiatrists and general practitioners in Russia. Partly due to lack of time dedicated to psychiatry in the medical school curriculum and partly due to the persistent stigma experienced by mental health professionals. In 2014, Russian early career psychiatrists and general practitioners decided to join their efforts and fill this gap using contemporary technical means and the enthusiasm of young community members.
“Non scholae, sed vitae discimus – Psychiatry” was a non-commercial educational project developed by a cardiologist, Dr. Ruslan Shepel of National Web-Society of Internal Medicine (internist.ru) and a psychiatrist, Dr. Alexey Pavlichenko, chairperson of Early Career Council of Russian Society of Psychiatrists (psychiatr.ru) in 2014.
The aims of the project were:
1) To share relevant practical and theoretical knowledge in the field of liaison psychiatry within the community of young Russian-speaking medical professionals (general practitioners, cardiologists, endocrinologists and others) and early career psychiatrists working in consultant teams and psychosomatic units in general hospitals.
2) To provide an opportunity for young researchers and clinicians to share their knowledge and practical skills with peers in the medical community.
3) Inspire networking and direct communication between speakers and students via a web-based platform (webinars).
Distinctive features of the project:
1) The content and presentations were prepared solely by early career psychiatrists without private or public sector funding.
2) The project was integrated into an existing educational framework (Internet-Session, Russian-wide Educational Program for Physicians), which helped to promote the project and engage a wide audience without additional costs.
We held three webinars in late 2014 and early 2015:
1) Management of Patients with Depressive Disorders in Primary Medical Setting. Dec 04, 2014, Alexander Kursakov (>500 online viewers)
2) Rational Psychopharmacotherapy in a General Hospital. Dec 18, 2014, Pavel Alfimov (>400 online viewers)
3) Anxiety Disorders in General Medical Practice – Psychiatric and Cardiologic Views. Feb 19, 2015, Alexey Pavlichenko and Ruslan Shepel (>600 online viewers)
All videos were later published on the web-site of the program (internist.ru), overall off-line view count is now more than 3000. After receiving positive feedback from peers and opinion leaders in the field, the authors decided to develop the project further in 2015-2016 using this innovative web-based format. Later, five more webinars became available: addiction medicine, liaison psychiatry in cardiology, gastroenterology, and other topics. All content is accessible to the Russian-speaking audience here – internist.ru.
In June 2015, during the 23d EFPT annual forum in Porto, the authors of the project were distinguished by the EFPT board for their efforts on spreading the clinical knowledge and fighting the stigma. EFPT Award for Excellence is considered a remarkable achievement by all Russian early career psychiatrists and is seen as a hope for future international collaboration.