Report from the Research working group

Collaboration between psychiatric trainees ensures a more effective use of individual talents and a quick way of accessing and transferring new knowledge and research expertise (1). Trainee collaborative research can provide opportunity for young doctors to be involved in bottom-up policy development, shaping of legislation and improving clinical behavior (1).

The Research working group was established at the EFPT forum in Gothenburg 2008 with the aim of facilitating trainee-led collaborative studies.

Having the objectives to create a platform for trainee-led collaborative studies, to raise awareness and contributes to the understanding of current issues, to focus on issues that concern trainees and to create an opportunity for psychiatric trainees to collaborate in an intercultural environment the research working group has undertaken several international projects. European-wide, early career psychiatrists-driven studies have been carried out completely independently, leading to high quality publications, where all the co-authors are junior researchers (2).

The EFPT-RWG offers the possibility to be part of trainee-friendly, relevant research, in a collaborative fashion, from countries throughout Europe, to make publications, gain research experience and progress professionally. By promoting psychiatric training quality at individual, national and European level the work of EFPT-RWG tends to influence the harmonization of psychiatric education programs and clinical practice supported by scientific results.

Studies of EFPT-RWG are conducted as surveys. Each project is chaired by a coordinator within the RWG. Each country participating in a study has a national coordinator responsible for gathering the data and develop the project on local level. Physical meetings are organised every year at the EFPT forum and EPA as well as skype meetings during the year.

Some of the project that have been conducted by EFPT-RWG are Brain Drain study aiming to investigate migratory experiences and attitudes among trainees in Europe; Trainees’ Experiences and Opinions regarding UEMS Psychiatric Competencies in their national training programs (TEO-PC) aiming to trainees’ awareness of these competencies and the 2009 UEMS framework; Psychiatric Residents Industry Relationship survey (PRIRS) aiming to investigate the extent of interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and European trainees in psychiatry and how their attitudes and beliefs influence these interactions; Access To Information In Psychiatric Training (ATIIPT) this study aimed to investigate: how psychiatric trainees use sources of MI (medical information) what the main obstacles are, and how these aspects are related to differences across Europe.

During 2008-2012 as a direct result of collaborative work within research working group there were published 2 articles and 1 Letter to the Editor (The Lancet, 2009; 373 April 11) as well as 6 abstracts in different scientific activities.

The activity of the EFPT-RWG during 2012-2016 consisted in a total of 29 oral presentations and 13 posters on the ongoing projects, as well as the organisation of 2 workshops in psychiatric congresses and 1 Letter to the Editor (International Psychiatry volume 9 number 3 august 2012). Best poster winner of EPA Congress in 2016 was from the Brain Drain Survey, titled “Should I Stay or should I Go. Mobility and migration among Psychiatric Trainees in Europe”.

We believe that this collaborative research work among trainees within the RWG over the years has served as a tool to foster capacity building through technical and personal skill development among multinational trainees, by establishing an engaging environment of collaboration, equity and fair competition. Being part of the EFPT-RWG offers trainees an early opportunity to enter a high quality research network and to participate in all the phases of an international research project by benefiting though shared research abilities. Collaborative research between different nationality trainees also improves social and management skills and provides intellectual companionship that increases the chances of productivity (3). Such partnerships can have useful political advantages, by giving ways to trust and the opportunities of new meaningful friendships.

Sonila Tomori
Co-chair of the EFPT Research working group

1. Pinto da Costa, M., Giurgiuca, A., Kilic, O., et al., 2013. Collaborative trainee-led research in psychiatry in Europe. Eur. Psychiatry J. 28 (S1), 1.
2. Andlauer, O., Feffer, K., Riese, F., 2014. Junior Psychiatrists and Independent Research. JAMA Psychiatry 71 (11), 1298.
3. L. De Picker, T. Mogren, S. Tomori, 2016. How EFPT trainee-led Cross-National research can change training in psychiatry. Eur. Psychiatry 33S 514-517.