First feedback on the new ESA Mentorship Programme: a great start!

First feedback on the new ESA Mentorship Programme: a great start!

  • Issue 66

Claude Meistelman (Mentorship programme leader)

Jaume Canet (mentor)

Vincenzo Russotto (mentee)

The idea of the ESA Mentorship Programme was born a few years ago on behalf of the Research Committee. The basic idea was to create support for young potential researchers. If some of them are already working in well-structured groups, it is obvious that other trainees do not benefit from such support and do not have access to defined research programs.

With the strong support from the ESA board, the research committee obtained the opportunity to create the mentorship project, designed to build an effective personal relationship between a confirmed researcher and a young anaesthesiologist with high research potential. First of all I strongly thank all the mentors who accepted with great enthusiasm to join the program. You will read from Jaume Canet how important the implication of the mentor is in the success of the relationship. The motivation of the mentee is also of great importance and you will discover in this letter from Vincenzo Russotto how fruitful the birth of the relationship with the mentor can be.

Since the start of the programme it was obvious that the initial meeting between the mentor and the mentee would be critical for success. Therefore a kick-off meeting was organised during the last ESA Congress in London. It was attended by the 15 selected mentor-mentee pairs and confirmed the high degree of motivation of every participant. I would like to very warmly thank all the participants who contributed to the success of the meeting. Now that the 2016 Mentorship Programme is on its way, it is time to prepare the 2017 selection of the mentees and to match them with mentors. I am sure that within a few years some of the selected mentees will be part of the ESA faculty, demonstrating the value of this ESA project.

ESA Mentorship Programme as seen by Dr Jaume Canet – Mentor in the 2016-2018 Programme

Last year, I received a call from Claude Meistelman. He told me that he was responsible for launching a mentorship programme in the ESA. He asked me to apply as a mentor. Some weeks before the 2016 ESA meeting, I received a message from the ESA secretariat informing me that I had been selected to supervise an Italian resident, Vincenzo Russotto. Also, I was invited to a kick-off meeting in London whose purpose was to receive instructions and most importantly to learn the methodology to apply to this programme. Then, I realised that it became serious and was important. Also, it gave me great responsibility because a trainee had put high expectation in being driven in a research project. It is not the same to personally conduct a research or be responsible for another person to perform it. Initially, Vincenzo and I had email contacts. As mentor, I had to develop some preliminary ideas to discuss together. So, taking advantage of Euroanaesthesia in London, Vincenzo and I met before the kick-off meeting for the first time. We had a brainstorming of ideas. The kick-off meeting was conducted working in pairs of mentors and mentees. We had to answer some questions regarding the two-year mentorship programme and to establish goals, which we signed together. For the last two months we have been working basically in two ways: introducing minor changes in the PROBESE study protocol, taking advantage of an ongoing ESA study on intraoperative ventilatory strategies, and searching studies on postoperative pulmonary complications in order to develop a meta-analysis. From my point of view as a mentor, I consider it very fruitful to use the ESA umbrella to work together with enthusiastic young researchers from different countries.

ESA Mentorship Programme as seen by Dr Vincenzo Russotto – Mentee in the 2016-2018 Programme

The experience and expertise of an esteemed researcher is what you may need one day. You may know his name from the authors’ list of the last paper you read and you would like to know the sequence of events and the difficulties and strategies to overcome them before getting that article published. The one-to-one relationship of the mentorship programme lets you discuss your ideas and together screen them for feasibility, and receive sincere feedback and words of encouragement. The ESA mentorship programme had these premises and after only a few months of work I must confirm them and I am able to analyse the first results. The ESA staff planned the first contact between Mentors and Mentees during the last ESA Congress in London during a well-organised kick-off meeting. However, I met my Mentor, Prof Canet, over a cup of coffee before that day. I was thrilled at the beginning but the atmosphere became soon serene and the conversation really stimulating. I had the honour to participate with Prof Canet at the trials steering committee meetings. The first result of our relationship is a sub-study proposal of the ongoing PROBESE trial aiming to evaluate the role of pre-operative arterial saturation for prediction of respiratory postoperative complications in obese patients. I really thank the ESA for this opportunity and Prof Canet for his warm kindness and support.

figure-1-c-meistelman       figure-2-mentee-v-russotto