The Croatian Section of Young Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Trainees

Dear colleagues and friends,

I am honored to write a message from our national trainees organization for this spring’s issue of the EFPT newsletter. As a matter of fact, our organization encompasses psychiatry trainees and early career psychiatrist (up to 7 years of specialist status or less than 40 years of age). Croatian Section of Young Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Trainees is a part of the Croatian Psychiatry Association (CPA) and was founded on 15th December 2005 on the founding meeting led by its past president, Professor Ljubomir Hotujac. At the founding meeting, a Board of 15 people was elected which included representatives of all psychiatric institutions in Croatia and this structure is held up until today. The first public appearance was at the 3rd Croatian psychiatric days in Opatija in April 2006, the meeting that is still the main showcase of our activities.

All members who are members of CPA may become members of the Croatian Section of Young Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Trainees if they meet the above mentioned general conditions. The membership fee for the Section is settled though the Croatian Psychiatric Association membership fee. The Board is elected every 2 years on the General assembly and the leadership consists of the president, the president-elect, past president, the secretary general and the treasurer. The president of the Section and the representative of Section within the CPA Board are members of the Executive board of the CPA.

The Section is a non-profit and non-governmental association whose members associate on a voluntary basis to achieve common goals and tasks. The objectives of the Section are to promote activities of psychiatry residents and young psychiatrist, particularly educational activities, research and professional meetings, to perform surveys among residents, to promote better communication networks among residents and young psychiatrists, as well as to identify specific problems of residents and young psychiatrist and offer specific solutions. The main objective of this organization is the evaluation of the current residency programme and the identification of main problems through investigations and publication of results, in order to raise the quality of residency training.

Activities that are planned during our meetings, which are held 3-4 times a year, are mostly under the auspices of CPA and the current CPA president Professor Vlado Jukic. Every year during the Croatian psychiatric days in Opatija, we organize workshops for our members. The workshops have various themes ranging from psychotherapy education to legal issues concerning our practice. The last two years we organized exciting pro et contra debates concerning total abstinence in alcohol addiction treatment and using coercive restraint measures respectively. Also during the congress the Section gives the financial award to all members who made their PhD during the last year and to one member who wrote an article in the journal with the highest impact factor. We are especially proud of organizing four Leadership Skills courses held by Professor Norman Sartorius for our residents and early career psychiatrists.

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Picture showing course on Leadership and Professional Development of Young Psychiatrists in 2010 at University Psychiatry Hospital Vrapce

We as members of the Board made the significant contribution in developing our new national residency regulation programme and also in writing the means of implementation of the programme. The main issue was how to regulate psychotherapy training. In that light we were the first country that organized a pilot project “Psychotherapy to go!” under the auspices of UEMS, EPA, EFPT, CPA, CACP (Croatian Association for Clinical Psychiatry). The school was organized by the president of UEMS Psychiatry Section Dr. Marc Hemans, EPA associate Dr. Nadja Maric-Bojovic, CACP president Professor Sladjana Strkalj-Ivezic, EFPT president Dr. Mariana Pinto da Costa and the members of our Board. The school was excellently received and run considering the feedback both from the organizers and the participants. The punch line was that we have made history with this school and future prospects regarding it should be explored.

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Picture showing Psychotherapy to go! school, University Psychiatric Hospital “Vrapče”, Zagreb, January – February 2015

Our collaboration with EFPT is wide and extensive. Wehave been an active member since 2008 and our past president Dr. Martina Rojnic-Kuzman, PhD was the president of EFPT as well. During her term we organized the 18th EFTP Forum in Dubrovnik in 2010. Our delegates and observers are active in many EFPT workgroups and did the whole variety of research projects – Exchange, Brain drain, Psychotherapy education, Burn-out in psychiatry residents to name the few. The most recent ongoing project is mPivas (mPsychoeducational Intervention Versus Antipsychotic- Induced Side effects) under the auspices of EPA’s Early Career Psychiatrist Council run by the past EFPT activists and executives.

At the end of this message let me share my personal experience from the last EFPT social networking meeting in Vienna this March. When I saw all the people I got to know from the time I started as a trainee and now when I am an early career psychiatrist, I was delighted how strong are the bonds between us all. With our networks and friendships we are making psychiatry a better place to dwell for us professionals and hence a better tool for helping our patients.

All the best in Porto,

Dr. Marko Tomicevic, President of Section of Young Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Trainees

Outpatient care in Child and Adolescent psychiatry at Neuropsychiatric hospital “Dr. Ivan Barbot”, Popovača