Make it happen: A very brief note on failure, success and strange August weather


“Make it happen” has been the official slogan for the city of Rotterdam since 2014. So, last August, I made it happen.

Each year, Rotterdam’s Erasmus Medical Centre (MC) and Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES) organise the Erasmus Summer Programme (ESP) that “provides hundreds of students, researchers and health professionals with the opportunity to boost their scientific careers. It is a specialized event that offers three weeks of á la carte research training in quantitative medical and health research. The programme provides its participants with a broad range of dynamic courses, both introductory and advanced, and provides the flexibility to mix and match the courses to their own individual programme.” This introductory text does a nice job of explaining the programme and was taken from ESP’s website, which I highly recommend (, not only because you can find photos of me there.

In 2016, I applied for the Fellowship programme offered by ESP and failed spectacularly to be accepted. Then I consulted my favourite quote-guy, the late and always great F. Scott Fitzgerald for some top quality advice. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat”, he said. Okay, I applied again in 2017 and made it happen this time round.

So why is this ESP thing so special? Amazing programme with a rich selection of courses and topics, able to fill each public health resident’s theoretical and methodological gaps. Smart, motivated and interesting colleagues from all around the world. Literally – Egypt, Colombia, Trinidad, Pakistan, Nigeria and Hong Kong, just to name a few. Top top top professors. Do names like John Ioannidis or Johan Mackenbach ring a bell? If not, ask Pedro Oh yeah – also an ultimately bike-friendly Rotterdam in August.

Any drawbacks? Well, the cost of the courses was an issue, to start with. Also, summer in Rotterdam is not really what I imagine when someone mentions August and weather in the same sentence.

The cost problem, I managed to solve by applying for the Fellowship programme. This took time and stubbornness. It worked out from the second attempt, as I already mentioned. The coldest_and_rainiest_August_of_my_life issue, I simply solved by embracing that it is normal to wear a fleece jacket mid-Summer and get soaking wet riding your bike on odd_date days. That’s how locals do it.

For additional stories (SUP’ing around the channels, free coffee machine, chance encounters with EuroNet’ters…) plus tips&tricks how to apply, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email.


Damir Ivankovic
Public Health Resident from and in Croatia

Why we need a Public Health professional journal in Slovenia and how we run it

A professional journal is a collection of articles which range from research articles, reports to practical articles applicable to a profession. What separates it from scientific journal is its emphasis on practice. Although professional journals can be a source of research, they primarily address practices with feasible implementation possibilities or practices with important implications to the current state of work.

Public Health is quite a specific field of work with many different stakeholders of diverse professional backgrounds. It is not unusual to see, for example, medical doctors, anthropologists, and economists working on the same public health topic, all employing different theoretical backgrounds, research methodologies, and professional networks to distribute their findings. Public Health is notorious for adopting theories and methods from other, more basic, sciences. Publishing practical and, also, research articles from researchers and practitioners from different fields, all working on health topics, should therefore widen the horizon of readers with interest in public health issues. That is more so the case in countries where (new) Public Health is not yet a universally acknowledged and accepted profession.

Such is the case of Slovenia. Empowered by the idea presented above, we started to work on a journal where professionals working on Public Health issues would be able to publish and read about work being done in their own country. And all of this in their mother tongue, thus maintaining and developing Slovenian Public Health terminology. Apart from research and practical articles, we decided to publish two specific types of articles. In an article type named Perspectives, professionals from different fields of science deconstruct a public health issue and write a short piece on how the issue is dealt within their scientific or professional domain. The main author of the article summarises their perspectives on the issue and reveals possible conflicts or synergies among different professional and scientific fields. The second type of an article is Methodological conversation where a researcher and a methodologist discuss various methodological issues that often arise in Public Health work. The article is written in the form of a dialogue with the purpose of making often confusing statistical and methodological discussions accessible to a wider audience. In the last issue of the journal the topic of Perspectives is alcohol use disorder and Methodological conversation is on the topic of developing a questionnaire for research purposes.

The first meeting of the editorial board of our new journal was held in November 2016. Our first issue was published in October 2017 and the second one in March 2018. As an editor-in-chief I hope our effort will advance the state of the art in Public Health in Slovenia and consequently in the wider European area.


Matej Vinko
National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia

As published in EuroNews 

Story from Nancy

Shortly after I joined France’s Public Health team in October, I heard about Euronet mainly through CLISP (National Public Health Resident Association in France), and I was quite curious about European Public health Association.

My name is Manon Burgat, I live in Dijon and I am a French resident.
At the beginning, my main interest in Euronet meeting was to do a training course in a European Country and to improve my English vocabulary.
But it turned out to be more than that. Euronet leaves its marks, physically (probably just the Nancy’s one) and in your heart.
Nancy’s meeting occurred in March, from the 8th to the 10th. It’s a beautiful city, known for “La place Stanislas”, listed in the UNESCO world heritage and also for ”macarons” French biscuits. Moreover it’s not far from Dijon. (173 kilometres to be precise)

I am not going to write about the food poisoning, the disease we’ve all survived, the amazing people I met, the 2018 women’s day, the general assembly or the crazy nights we’ve spent. I just want to write you about Public health promotion.

Public health promotion was the title of one of the working groups we had during Thursday morning. It was led by Damir, a Croatian resident. Only French people attended this working group, supposing public health had a poor reputation among French students.

A lot of ideas were developed. We began our work with the premise that there is no common definition of“Public health”. What is it? What is the daily routine of a public health doctor? Do you define public health by quoting the different possibilities of work?
In France for example, students don’t choose medical studies to be a public health doctor. They choose it to cure, to save, and to help patients. To study clinic’s. (Public spirit 🙂 ). The speciality is not well known, and it is just at the end of the medical school that French students start to think about choosing public health speciality. Furthermore, there is no public health work experience during the first years. And at the final exam, public health is one of the last specialty chosen.

After this analysis, what can we do to make public health more glamourous or attractive?
We can take for example a look at what they did in the United States. They had a  campaign “this is public health “ created by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health in order to “brand public health and raise awareness of how public health affects individuals, families, communities, and populations”. In the US, public health is very attractive among students!
From there, we talked mainly about having “public health promoter” in cities who can talk about public health, in conferences for example. We can do European leaflets with a cool headline, distribute them in each country. We could have a reference website, where public health work is described…

We are at the beginning of the working group and there is so much left to do to promote public health. And not only in France! All your ideas are welcome! Go to Valencia and share them with us! 🙂


Manon Burgat
Public Health Resident, Dijon

Euronet MRPH Spring Meeting in Nancy

Almost one year on from the Strasbourg meeting, EuroNet MRPH is back in France! The 2018 Spring meeting (occurring disturbingly early in March, from 7th to 10th) was hosted by the beautiful city of Nancy. It was excellently organised by a Nancy local, Hélène Rossinot and the French EuroNet MRPH National Commission, on the theme of prevention and health promotion.
The meeting was hosted in the Nancy Museum Aquarium, a natural history museum including over 60 aquariums and a zoology gallery. But, to avoid any fishy business, the sessions were held in the Lucien Cuénot amphitheatre, originally created in 1933 and beautifully restored with the original furniture in 2013.

1st day

The morning session of the meeting’s first day was dedicated to EuroNet working groups. After an the motivating opening welcome message by our President, Alberto Mateo, the participants split in four working groups. “Promoting Public Health as a career choice” working group was led by Damir Ivankovic. It was mostly a brainstorming exercise on how to promote Public Health among medical students, delightfully sprinkled with philosophical insights. Further discussion is needed to determine what role EuroNet could play in this matter, and if this should be formalized with a permanent working group. A second group was led by Matej Vinko, EuroNet MRPH Vice-President, aiming to edit the position paper “On the future of Public Health in the European Union”, as the deadline was that same day. We are proud to say that this was a success. A third group was the “LGBT+ Residents’ Health and working environment” working group, led by Damiano Cerasuolo. It carried on the work already started in Lisbon, during the Euronet winter meeting, by reviewing a questionnaire medical and Public Health residents concerned by this subject across Europe. The last group, led by our communication lead, Gloria Raguzzoni, set up a plan to improve the way we promote our internships and discussed innovative ways of improving our communication channels.

The afternoon session commenced with the official inauguration of the meeting, in the presence of local authority head figures. The welcome speech was given by André Rossinot, president of Grand Nancy Metropole, Laurent Hénart, mayor of Nancy, Bruno Boyer from the Conseil National de l’ordre des médecins (National Board of Doctors), Auldric Ratajczak from the Agence Régionale de Santé Grand Est and François Werner who is in charge of the coordination of European policies in the Grand-Est region and vice president of Nancy Metropole.

Then followed the round table “Local prevention policies” that saw the participation of François Werner, Auldric Ratajczak and Marie Catherine Tallot deputy mayor of Nancy in charge of health. The talk focused on the strategies set up by the ARS (the local health agency) and the local institutions to promote health projects, addressing main issues and needs of the population.

2nd day

The theme of the second day of the meeting was prevention in hospitals. First, we had the presentation of the “Health Promotion Corner in the Hospital”. Le cercle sens & santé is a “think-to-do-tank”, created in 2014 as an ideas generator and processor. Its goal is to develop better hospitals of the future ( Prevention actor club is an association created in 2014 whose main goal is to transform waiting times in hospitals into recreational time and provide opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles, providing “Health for all” in the hallway. Example of activities included Zumba; yoga and cooking classes in hospitals; monthly activity program; leaflets; a photo booth with the prevention slogan; banners for public health campaign promotion, to name just a few. This project is undergoing a trial phase and will be launched in May at Paris HealthCare Week. We then had a round table with a hospital infection control committee responsible officer, occupational health physician and Nancy’s Hospital manager to discuss the risks of occupational diseases in hospitals and preventive measures.

The afternoon was dedicated to the traditional assembly of the association. Lois Murray, from the UK, presented a possible EuroNet partnership with EuroNGOs for sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy opportunities. It is an organization in which she worked and proposed to be the liaison lead. We then shared ideas for EuroNet participation in World Health Day. Finally, the climax of the meeting was the presentation of the candidacy of Valencia to host the 2018 summer meeting. It was thoroughly prepared by Julio Muñoz, and although he was not present, it is safe to say this performance will be remembered for decades and will inspire future generations of EuroNeters.

Social events

As part of the social programme, we had the chance to explore the beautiful city of Nancy and discover a bit of its rich history. The main square is the famous Place Stanislas, sometimes humbly referred to as “the most beautiful square in the world”. It is named after Stanisław I Leszczyński, former Ruler of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (and father-in-law to King Louis XV of France), who acquired the Duchy of Upper Lorraine, of which Nancy was the capital, after the War of the Polish Succession in 1737.

On the first evening, we were invited to a typical French restaurant called “Vins et tartines”. We tasted different kinds of toasts and local wine. We were also encouraged to taste some local whisky, and a liquor of a fruit called “Mirabelle” (which literally means “beautiful to see” by the way). Damir pointed out that this schnappsy liquor with a fancy name is basically what they call šljivovica in the Balkans, which is not considered fancy at all. After that, the whisky/liquor-resilient comrades went to wander around to experience Nancy by night.

The second evening took place in another typical French restaurant, where we had the chance to taste some fine cuisine. Despite a poultry problem, it was a very nice experience. As the night was still young, most of us went out once again to enjoy Nancy by night. There was music, there was fire, and people danced like they got out of jail, together in a beautiful communion of the nations!

To conclude, it was once again a wonderful meeting, thanks to Hélène and the French National Commission, for all the organisational efforts, thanks to the welcoming people of Nancy and thanks to the wonderful residents who attended it!

Damiano Cerasuolo, Damir Ivankovic, Gisela Leiras, Clément Massonnaud, Lois Murray

Stories from Lisbon Meeting

Last meeting in Lisbon was awesome, full of interesting lectures and workshops but also of fun and new friends! Here you can read the words of two residents who attended the Winter Meeting in Lisbon. Don’t miss the chance to join us in Nancy!

Hello everyone, my name is Melchior. I’m a first year public health resident in France working in the city of Dijon. Just before starting my residency we had a small seminar in Paris where we met all the new residents and some of the older residents. We had presentations about public health and that’s how I first heard about Euronet MRPH and the meetings. As I’m feeling an European citizen I was totally into it! So I decided to fly to Lisbon for the winter meeting.

I really enjoyed participating in this meeting, you meet a lot of new people from all Europe, working in your same field. During these days you learn a lot. In Lisbon we had doctors from the National Public Health Institute of Portugal, talking about big data: how to get them, why do we need them, what can we do with them. As it was from a portuguese point of view I could compare the techniques to collect them and their uses with what is done in my country and learn from the differences.

We also had workshop sessions in small groups about specific themes. I choose one which looked like a « TED talk ». A professor taught us how to speak and behave when you do a presentation in front of people in order to be well understood. I have to say it was really useful to learn that: now I know a few tricks I can use in everyday life.

The meeting was well organised. Of course there is always some stuff that can be adjusted but hey…we’re only residents, so that’s cool! I thought each part of the schedule was well done, respecting enough coffee breaks and lunch breaks. It allowed us time to breathe and to speak to the other residents. Lunches were quite good and we could choose different meals. And let’s not forget the social part, each night was awesome and can be described with these words: culture, food, drinks, networking, partying!

I would highly recommend the Euronet meeting to others residents. I personally want to get more involved into it and try to come to most of the future meetings. I expect nothing less than what I’ve lived during these 4 days of winter meeting!

Melchior de Giraud d’Agay
1st year Public Health Resident
from France

Our new Communication Team Lead, lovely Gloria, kindly asked me to write a short testimony about the Lisbon EuroNet MRPH 2017 Winter Meeting. Oh, boy was in trouble. I honestly did not know where to start. Three days packed with work, fun, sun, culture and love in “less than 400 words”. Fifty of which I already used☺ I needed help! Books! Dictionaries! References!

Merriam-Webster [1] online dictionary defines „testimony“, among others, as “an open acknowledgment or a public profession of religious experience”. That was it!

I can start by publicly and openly confessing that I believe in EuroNet! Of course, this was the case even before the Lisbon Meeting; otherwise, I would have not decided to preside over the Network this year and dedicate so much time and effort in it. But, Lisbon… you made me a true believer. To be honest, it was not really Lisbon itself (although the city is stunning). It was the Portuguese (organisers and participants) and people from all around Europe that made this Meeting such a success.

People. Ninety (nine, zero!) public health residents in total, a lot of them completely new to EuroNet, traveling half-way across Europe, curious to see what this thing is all about. And, saw they did!

Three days of content- and context-wise amazing lectures and workshops with top Portuguese public health experts as well as a lot of engaged participation in the Working Groups session and the General Assembly. That’s just next to the really important part – seeing old friends, meeting new people (soon to become friends), networking, exchanging experiences (good and bad), getting to know and enjoy Lisbon.

I’m already running out of words, so just six more. Pasteis de Belem. Thank you, Portugal!
See you in Nancy next March…

(I apologise for all the !!!’s, but the number of exclamation marks just shows how I still feel about this meeting, two weeks after my sugar level stabilised and my cheap and delayed flight took off from Lisbon.)

Damir Ivanković
EuroNet believer and its 2017 president
from Croatia


Two weeks at the Cochrane Collaboration Center in Split

I first considered the possibility of going to Split after I saw Livia Puljak and Ana Jerončić at EuroNet 2017 summer meeting in Motovun, Croatia. They told us about some of the projects they had worked on and also commented on some of the internships they had hosted which had apparently been very fruitful. They even mentioned the possibility of arranging accommodation for interns. I had been in Split back in 2007 and an internship at the Cochrane Collaboration Center seemed like the perfect opportunity. It was a win win.

After several weeks of contemplation I decided to formally request the internship through EuroNet Internship’s work group. Through the group I contacted Damir Ivanković the rather shy but charming Croatian representative in the group, who provided me with practical information for my stay, as part of the “internship tutor” program within the work group. He enabled a first contact with both Ana and Livia so as to talk about their current projects at the time to see if any would fit my interests and objectives.

After a couple of emails we settled on some learning objectives and the possibility of future collaboration. One of the apartments that the Split School of Medicine has built into it was free so I was lucky enough to have accommodation arranged for free. Then the paperwork nightmare began. After receiving Ana’s formal invitation I had some trouble from my teaching unit back in Valencia. At one point I realized my application form had been misplaced and I had to start the process again. Luckily, all permissions were granted in time.

My arrival was a little rough. I was going to Split right after EuroNet winter meeting, so it took three flights and several uber rides. Once I got to the right address, Ana was waiting for me (it was almost midnight) and showed me to the apartment. After a good night’s sleep we met for coffee at the university’s cantina. Despite our original agreement being to do some work on regression models, we realized we had a common interest in statin therapy, and then and there decided to engage in a completely different project involving systematic review and guideline quality assessment. I am now extremely glad we did.

Croats are amazing hosts, and the people I met during my stay in Split were no exception. Ana was extremely kind and both her and the rest of the members of the Cochrane Collaboration Center and the Split School of Medicine made my short stay feel like second home from day 1. There is, however, one obvious drawback. December is not the best time for a stay in Croatia. Split is an extremely lively city during summer, with dozens of clubs just a couple of meters from the Adriatic sea and plenty of outdoor life, but during winter things change. Many of the bars and restaurants I had been told about were closed, and a strong, cold, wet wind blew angrily for days from the sea.

Looking back I am really glad I decided to apply, both for the short but intense learning experience but also for the great people I met. I am currently in touch with Ana as we continue to work on our project on the quality of cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines and hope to visit her again in the future and that she holds onto my promise and comes to Valencia to try some real paella.

Julio Muñoz
Public Health Resident from Spain

YPHE’s report is out!

No Castelo ponho um cotovelo
Em Alfama descanso o olhar
E assim desfaço o novelo de azul e mar
Á Ribeira encosto a cabeça
Almofada da cama do Tejo
Com lençóis bordados à pressa na cambraia dum beijo

Lisboa menina e moça – Carlos do Carmo

From November 30th to December 2th 2017, Lisbon, the city praised by Carlos do Carmo in one of his most famous fado, hosted the 25th Euronet meeting. The Euronet Portuguese Team gifted everyone with an astonishing organization. It wasn’t just a meeting, it was a reunion of friends, an encounter of new colleagues, a scientific conference and a journey through Lisbon history.

Here you can find the report:

10th EPH Conference in Stockholm | Euronet MRPH Point of View


With the “crazy” tempo of EuroNet in 2017, there is, in fact, not much time to relax and think about our participation at the 10th European Public Health (EPH) conference in Stockholm between November 1st and 4th. Therefore, we will try and use this brief report as an opportunity to 1) reflect on the Stockholm conference and 2) inform you on what happened during those 4 “action-packed” days.

To set the scene, we would like to introduce the main venues of the 10th EPH conference: Stockholsmässan, Stockholm City Hall and the wonderful “Casa EuroNet”. Stockholsmässan conference venue was where all the serious work took place. Lectures, seminars, workshops, meetings and presenting EuroNet in the conference’s exhibition area. A welcome reception at the famous Stockholm City Hall made us feel like Nobel prize winners; probably in economics - for managing to achieve such a successful conference participation with almost zero budget. In our communal living place - “Casa EuroNet” - we discussed work and life… and slept a bit. We even found a sauna and spent great time all together enjoying relaxing on comfortable sofas and armchairs, listening to music thanks to an amazing sound system and great EuroNet DJs.

The days were not boring at all. For example, one of us forgot his ID card in the airplane. After checking with the airport, we realized that they did not find it, but at least they knew that one day it was probably in Austria and the day after it would have gone somewhere in the world (Taiwan?). In any case, a piece of EuroNet was travelling around the world and this in some way made us proud of EuroNet potential.

Stockholm gave us the chance to once again meet “old” colleagues and friends and strengthen several collaborations with other young public health professionals’ networks, like ASPHER and EUPHAnxt. We also had the opportunity to meet fellow Young Gasteiners, to interact with EUPHA and other associations to talk about new potential internship positions.


Euronet had the fantastic opportunity to share a stand with ASPHER for the whole of the conference. This proved to be a great success. We distributed dozens of newsletters and made useful contacts that will, hopefully, end up in new countries joining the network (e.g. Cyprus and Romania) and new partnerships (e.g. New Zealand). One of the highlights of the EPH conference were our stickers, which were placed in every possible badge, chest or forehead by our passionate Euronetters.

As usual, Euronet didn’t take a passive role in the conference. On contrary, we were present in several sessions. Mariana and Damir presented their posters on migrants and perinatal health in Portugal as well as on politics and public health policies in Croatia during the ASPHER Young Researchers’ Forum, on the pre-conference day.

Francesco gave an interesting oral pitch about a systematic review on digital health interventions he carried out and Jo chaired one of the sessions on infectious diseases topic. But it was the last day when Euronet was most present in the conference programme. We had five EuroNet’ers presenting posters: Damir described EuroNet’s internships, Matej explained the results of the Slovenian satisfaction survey, Helene presented EuroNet Platform, Jo outlined the innovative and comprehensive Welsh public health strategy and Stefano talked about an Emergency and Preparedness project he carried out with international partners.

The Conference finished with Alberto chairing a workshop co-organised between Euronet, YFG, EUPHAnxt, in which Helene explained, very succesfully, her thesis to a non-scientific audience. And only in three minutes!

Our “flying” member from Malta - Stefan - was always around ready to stream the conference events live to the rest of the world.

It was really a great experience, we look forward for the next EPH and invite you to Ljubljana next year.  Join us to make the Euronet group larger than it was in Stockholm. In 2018 the main theme of the conference will be Winds of change: towards new ways of improving public health in Europe. Could there be an EPH conference theme more suited to EuroNetters? One of the most green and livable cities in Europe that should be on your travel itinerary next year!

Jo, Mariana, Helene, Francesco, Alberto, Matej, Luis, Stefano, Stefan and Damir

EPHA Professional Development Course for EuroNet MRPH Members: A brief summary

Approximately one month ago, EPHA prepared an exclusive advocacy course for Euronet MRPH members. In 28th and 29th September, 18 medical residents in Public Health from 8 Euronet MRPH member countries had the chance to attend EPHA Professional Development Course in Brussels.

Here you can find a summary of the most relevant contents, compiled by Rachel Thomson, from Euronet MRPH Scotland.

By the end of the workshop, it was anticipated participants would be able to:

  • Understand how the EU works in practice, from the perspective of a large public health umbrella NGO;
  • Better grasp the role of civil society in EU policymaking processes;
  • Gain knowledge about EPHA’s campaign areas and discuss key challenges and opportunities;
  • Comprehend different advocacy approaches deployed by EPHA;
  • Discuss how to make best use of public health expertise and scientific evidence to engage with policymakers and shape “health-friendly” EU policies;
  • Engage with public health stakeholder at EU level.

We hope you can attend future courses with our partners, to promote Public Health skills among european residents.

EuroNet MRPH and the European Forum for Primary Care sign a Partnership Agreement

A brief, but motivating, encounter at the conference in Porto this September was all that it took for a Portuguese EuroNet member to initiate cooperation talks between EuroNet MRPH and the EuropeanForum for Primary Care (EFPC).
During these conversations, both networks recognised a strong need for cooperation and collaboration between young Public Health and Primary Care professionals, especially EFPC’s Working Group for Young Primary Care Experts (You&EFPC).

A month later, we have the Partnership Agreement signed and collaboration and cooperation talks in the pipeline.
We will keep you updated on future talks, collaborations and results. Stay tuned.