This year, the ESA will honour former President Daniela Filipescu with a prestigious Honorary Membership. Here Daniela reflects on her career and time as President.
Q: What made you want to become an anaesthesiologist, and how difficult was this in Romania at that time?
DF: Before graduating, while preparing my MD license thesis on a malignant haematological disease, all the study patients died. I could not help them at all and that dramatic outcome influenced my decision of choosing a specialty of acute care of patients. I was committed to contribute immediately to the improvement of patient health.
Q: Did you ever think you would become the first Eastern European president of ESA?
DF: I had never dreamed I would become ESA President but being the ESA President allowed me to fulfil my dream: to contribute to reducing the opportunity gap between Western and Eastern anaesthesiologists in the interest of our patients. When I first knew the results of the elections I felt the huge responsibility of continuing the work of the Past Presidents and making the ESA even greater.
Q: Congratulations on your Honorary Membership Daniela. How did it feel to receive this honour?
DF: This award came as a surprise to me as I did not have the feeling that I had done something exceptional. During my term in different ESA leadership positions I have tried to do my best in the interest of our profession and patients. I also tried to stimulate colleagues from less affluent countries to be more active in their profession and the ESA. However, I am still overwhelmed by the significance of this award.
This award is the most important honour I have ever received and I am very proud but also humble as I acknowledge that if my ESA commitments look successful, it is because I was supported by wonderful, dedicated people, both to anaesthesiology and the ESA. I am very grateful to all my colleagues and friends in the Board, Council, Committees and Secretariat for their continuous support! If this award could show to my son and other young students in medicine that they can succeed in their profession and life by working hard, being dedicated to patients and profession, doing honestly their job and aiming for high standards, then its value is tenfold.
Q: What next for Daniela Filipescu? Which areas of research are you most interested in, and how would you like to help the ESA in the future?
DF: I will continue my research and educational projects related to transfusion and haemostasis. I have already started a project on implementation of a patient blood management programme in Romania. I will also continue implementation of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Romania and elsewhere and I will work on making anaesthesiology more visible to both the politicians and lay public. I will be always ready to support the ESA with my knowledge and experience.
As a Council member of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) I will work to make ESA scientific and educational products and achievements useful and affordable to anaesthesiologists all over the world.