The ESA mentorship Programme: Where are we two years after its launch?

The ESA mentorship Programme: Where are we two years after its launch?

  • Issue 72

Claude Meistelman

This is the second year for the ESA Mentorship Programme. For those who are not very familiar with one of the most recent ESA projects, the main goal remains the promotion of young researchers through one-to-one mentoring by experienced investigators. Similar to other ESA actions, the first task was to advertise the 2017 mentorship programme through the website, where the mentees could apply. The results were promising with 37 applicants. As usual, the selection was difficult and with the help of the members of the ESA Research Committee 15 mentees were selected.

The next step was the choice of the mentors, taking into account the research projects of the selected mentees. ESA members should realise that this is not an easy task due to the number of research areas in anaesthesia. I would like to very warmly thank all the colleagues who applied to become mentors and offer time to these young and enthusiastic mentees. Then, as in 2016, the launch meeting occurred during Euroanaesthesia, this year in Geneva. It was the opportunity for the different pairs to meet for the first time; however, it must be pointed out that many of the mentors and mentees had started their relationship and mutual exchanges before this meeting, most of the contacts being by e-mail.

In the meantime we had to analyse the results of the first year of the mentorship programme. The feedback form told us that we had 8 pairs who considered that the result of their collaboration was ‘excellent’ and 3 pairs who reported ‘good’ collaboration. This appears very promising as a 50% success rate is considered a very good result. Some of the pairs were very successful as they are already on the way to publishing their first article. Now it is time to prepare the third year of this exciting programme and I encourage you to apply as a mentor if you have the time and enthusiasm to help our young colleagues.

ESA Mentorship Programme as seen by Dr Andrea Székely – Mentor in the 2017–2019 Programme

My name is Andrea Székely and I am an Associate Professor of the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Semmelweis University Budapest. My main research topics are paediatric cardiac surgery and intensive care, particularly the problems of noncardiac origin. In the last decade, we have focused on acute kidney injury and fluid overload in the perioperative period of congenital heart surgery.

With my research fellows and my students of the Youth Research Schools, we have built and analysed a large paediatric database of ca. 1600 consecutive patients and we have published our results about the occurrence of acute kidney injury and complications, about fluid overload and adverse events, and comparison of different classification systems of acute kidney injury. Therefore, I applied for the mentorship programme of the European Society of Anaesthesiology. Since my application was accepted, I have started to communicate about a possible research project with Dr Sladjana Vasiljevic, my mentee, through e-mail.

We met face-to-face in Geneva at a dedicated meeting during Euroanaesthesia 2017. During my walk from the bus station to the meeting place I went through the airport area, the long bridge above the auto-route, and after entering the building of Euroanaesthesia 2017, I had to walk 300 meters to reach the meeting room. I think that our career is similar; we have to get over several blocks before we can reach a promising project. Evidently, the partner has to get there at the same time, too.

During this meeting, we established a very interesting project and we are working on the development of a scoring system of acute kidney injury and fluid overload in neonates and infants after paediatric surgery. Sladjana has started the initial data collection. I think our teamwork involving our colleagues on both sides is essential to making this a fruitful project.

 ESA Mentorship Programme as seen by Dr Sladjana Vasiljevic – Mentee in the 2017–2019 Programme

I applied for the Mentorship Programme in order to continue and improve my development in the field of research and education in paediatric and neonatal anaesthesia and intensive care. I am very pleased with the selection and matching with my mentor. Prof Székely has a lot of experience in the work and research in the mentioned fields, follows the latest research, and is very open to cooperation. The kick-off meeting was very pleasant and successful; the first step was made in selecting the area of our future research. In the next communication, we defined the research topic.

A successful kick-off meeting was continued with three rewarding days at the ESA 2017. Sessions dedicated to paediatric and neonatal anaesthesia and intensive care brought the latest insights into these fields and also enabled exchange of experience among colleagues. The Euroanaesthesia exhibition presented companies and their latest achievements in medicines and technologies. These were four very successful and fulfilling days in Geneva.

Addresses for correspondence:

  • Meistelman Claude, Centre hospitalier régional et universitaire de Nancy – Mentorship Programme Leader –
  • Székely Andrea, Semmelweis University Department of Anesthesiology – Mentor –
  • Vasiljevic Sladjana, Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia “Dr Vukan Cupic” – Mentee –