Conflict of interest between Professional Medical Societies and industry: a cross-sectional of the European Medical Societies’ websites

The relationship between industry and medical societies has been widely studied by the international literature and has been recognized as a potential condition for biases and conflicts of interest. A recent study analysed the relationship between industry and medical societies through the assessment of the Italian medical societies’ websites, finding some relevant correlations. Despite this scenario, little is known about the relationship between medical societies and industry in Europe.

The aim of the work conducted by Euronet MRPH is to extend the Italian research to seven European countries (Croatia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain). The study is important because it is a first such project addressing the conflict of interest between medical societies and industry in a comparative European setting. In addition to its scholarly contribution that will enhance the understanding of the nature of this relationship, the study has implications for the development of policy regulating the relationship between industry and medical societies, from disclosure requirements, to restriction on what industries can fund, among others. The working group already developed a structured flowchart to systematically produce comprehensive lists of all the medical societies in the included countries.
Up to date, a significant effort has been done in assessing the differences between the national definitions of medical societies and, so far, a heterogeneous framework emerged.

Stefano Guicciardi
Public Health Resident, Italy

 

EuroNet MRPH working group LGBT well-being and work environment survey

The improved visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and other non-heterosexual (LGBT+) people has not always been accompanied by advancements in the working and living conditions of those identifying as LGBT+. In medical residency programmes across Europe, there is little research analysing how challenges of the residency period align with the challenges associated with concealable identities and their disclosure. This paucity of data may be due to the notion that identity is inconsequential or irrelevant to achievement and well-being in medical studies and health professions.

EuroNet MRPH LGBT+ working group aims to better understand the daily living and working condition of medical residents identifying themselves as LGBT+. The product of this year of work (the project started in late 2016) is a questionnaire, made up of 45 questions, and organised in 6 sections, focusing on identities, acceptance both at work and home, episodes of discrimination or harassment, and emotional well-being. It will be soon disseminated after its translation in most of the languages spoken in the countries part of the network. The process of forward and backward translation will ensure semantic and conceptual equivalence between different versions and it will make data analysis reliable.

This project addresses the need for an informative survey about working environment experiences and well-being of medical residents identifying themselves as LGBT+, and could help to get an insight into the wider topic of LGBT+ acceptance in our health system. If you want to learn more or give a little help, do not hesitate to contact us.

Damiano Cerasuolo
Public Health Resident, France

 

EuroNet Summer Meeting Report – Valencia 2018

Summer meetings are always a special one: President’s word about the Valencia meeting

Summer meetings are always a special one. Two years ago, for the first time in EuroNet’s history, we decided to spend a few days in a Dutch farm. Last year, we managed to bring 30 Euroneters to a tiny village on the top of an Istrian hill. This year, it was the turn of Valencia.

We decided that, given the time and the venue, a relaxed format of meeting would be more appropriate. Yet, there are always three goals which must be achieved in a meeting: to improve EuroNet, to learn something and to have fun with other colleagues. Thanks to the work of the organising committee, all three were achieved. Presentations by Rocio Zurriaga, Robert Otok and Sara McQuinn taught us about the past of our network and how to look to the future by strengthening our partnerships with key European organisations such as ASPHER and EUPHAnxt. These were followed by our usual working group sessions. This year, we also introduced an innovative format of group discussions, whose outcomes you will be able to read in this report.

Nevertheless, this meeting will be always remembered as the meeting where Turkey joined our network. We are already the biggest network representing medical residents in Europe. However, expanding EuroNet is always an objective. By strengthening EuroNet we increase our capacities and become more influential. In this context, the admission of Turkey is a huge step forward. We are all really looking forward to meeting and learn from our Turkish colleagues.

But a EuroNet meeting would not be a EuroNet meeting without fun, and the Spanish committee (and Julio particularly) are experts on this. We enjoyed some fantastic days in which water buckets, paella and the beach were among the highlights.

Whether you are an established euroneter or someone hearing from our network for the first time, I hope you enjoy this report and, if you want to join us, do not hesitate to contact the board or your country representatives. I hope that you are able to join us on our next meeting, which will take place in Slovenia at the beginning of December. See you there!!

Alberto Mateo
2018 EuroNet President

A paella for fifty: a word from the Organising Committee

In 1936, during an excavation on a hill near Kujut Rabua, a Hamlet southeast of Bagdad, members of the Iraqi State’s Railway Department found a tomb covered with a slab of Stone. The archaeologic recovery that ensued resulted in a magnificent number of small, decorated objects dated as far back as 248 a.C. . Among these were several odd looking recipients, shaped like a vase and light yellow in color. In these recipients they found fixed copper cylinders with iron rods in them. These objects would later be identified as crude batteries used for electroplating small objects and nicknamed the “baghdad batteries”, predating modern electroplating technology by almost two millennia.

We took on the challenge of organising the 2018 summer meeting with mediterranean optimism. We would start with Croatia’s victory against England (no disrespect to our british colleagues, but Croatia is a charming underdog with a little to no imperialist background) and finish on Sunday night by lighting a cigar after tapas with the last meeting survivors à la The A Team’s John Hannibal Smith exclaiming “I love it when a plan comes together”. Fade to black.

Unfortunately the world is a wild place full of real problems. It is physically impossible to make an A+ paella for fifty. Despite the different issues that were faced, organising this event was a blast. Sharing your city and hosting for colleagues and friends is a great experience that we are grateful for and we recommend. It also, as is usual in EuroNet meetings, produced several unique moments, some of which we would like briefly mention: Turkey’s historic entry in EuroNet. Croatia making it to the finals. The experimental discussion groups as a way of exploring common interests and generating ideas. The weird bar. Several impressive memes were also produced during this meeting: Angelo’s very big data, Euronet pushing me to achieve my fullest profesional potential and Clement and Antoine’s rather odd bed meme.

Back to the Baghdad batteries. Lost knowledge is a real thing. As good as we are in keeping a record of things, humanity sometimes has the tendency of starting things from scratch rather than stand on the shoulders of giants. We saw a glimpse of this during Rocio Zurriaga’s intervention on the beginnings of EuroNet, particularly in regards to the structure of assemblies. Meetings have varied greatly in the last couple of years. This is understandable considering the association’s impressive expansion (There is word that despite history’s lessons we will take on Russia in winter). We would however like to echo the feeling of discontinuity that was expressed by some during the meeting. Creative licenses set aside, there is perhaps a need to produce a template of what a meeting should look like, what sections should constitute one and what are the objectives or the expected interactions at the assemblies. At this point, the size of the association certainly justifies a quality control approach.

Next meeting couldn’t be more of a contrast with the last: from the mediterranean Playa de la Malvarrosa to snow covered cottages in the slovenian alps. The idyllic setting along with the coinciding EPH in Ljubljana and the guaranteed hosting qualities of the Association of Public Health Residents of Slovenia truly makes this one a no brainer. We hope to see you all there.

In words of our fellow JF Monteagudo, “together we are stronger”; and as  Professor Miroslav from the Andrija Stampar school of Public Health said one night:

Health to All.

The 2018 Valencia Meeting Organising Committee


Points of view: Ireen and Desmond

This summer I finally had the opportunity to join my first EuroNet MRPH meeting. Due to a lot of enthusiastic stories of my colleague (Lilian van der Ven) about EuroNet-meetings my expectations were sky high. And I can tell you that Valencia did not disappoint me at all!

On the first day of the meeting I have learned a lot about Public Health initiatives in Europe. There was a presentation about
EUPHAnxt (Sara Mc Quinn). Rocío Zurriago Carda, former president of EuroNet MRPH, taught us some history of our association. It included a very impressive movie of several former members, who are now working in different fields of Public Health all over the world. It showed me the importance of this network and the family-like involvement of all the individual members. Together we are stronger!
We were asked to use our brains and creativity in the working groups of internships, research and communication. I attended the one about internships. Did you already know that EuroNet MRPH facilitates internships throughout the continent? Read everything about it on the websiteCansu Erden Cengiz told us everything about the Turkish Public Health system and their network of residents. It led to an unanimous YES during the voting, which means that Turkey is now the 10th country joining the EuroNet MRPH. Together we are stronger!

The second day of the meeting started with a presentation of the new ethical statement of the association (Maria Francesca Manca) and an interesting update about the research working groups (Damir Ivankovic). Afterwards Robert Otok, the director of
ASPHER, presented the work of the association and the professionalization. There were discussion groups of several very interesting topics, like big data. The day ended with a fun movie contest to promote EuroNet MRPH. A lot of attendees told their individual positive experiences with this network, some of the attendees introduced the EuroNet-song ‘Viva EuroNet’, but the winner was Juan Francisco with a short movie with a very clear message: ‘Together we are stronger!’.

Beside the serious topics during the meeting, Julio Munoz did a very good job to show us all the best things of Valencia. He organized good weather, so we could enjoy the beach and the sea after the meetings. He arranged the 2018 FIFA World Cup for some international competition between the different EuroNet countries. He taught us some very useful Spanish sentences, like ‘Please try to keep the hamster alive’. He found the best restaurants to have shared dinner and the weirdest bars to have some good fiestas toda la noche. He took his profession as an audio tour guide very serious, so nobody could get lost, unless they were not listening of course. He constructed cycle paths throughout Valencia, so the Dutchies couldn’t stop smiling while riding their bikes. He showed us the biggest pan of paella I have ever seen, and the best paella I have ever tasted for breakfast. And even during the last night he arranged a huge firework show to let Valencia know that the EuroNet MRPH-meeting has officially ended. Muchas gracias Julio!

After another short night of sleep, it was time for me to fly back home. I’m really glad that I was able to attend this meeting and thanks to everyone for the warm welcome, the interesting presentations and all the fun. Luckily there will be more meetings and thanks to the preview of Matej Vinko of the winter meeting in Slovenia, I know it’s going to be another awesome weekend. Are you joining as well? Always remember this: together we are stronger!

Ireen Feenstra
Public health resident in the Netherlands


The recent Euronet meeting in Valencia proved a great opportunity to network with European colleagues. During the meeting I enjoyed listening to committed and enthusiastic public health residents from other European countries give their perspectives on their training and educational experiences. I also learned of some excellent practical initiatives that have been developed by Euronet including the internship programme which I believe will help interested public health residents strengthen their knowledge and experience in various areas of public health.

It is clear that Euronet is a growing organisation which is helping to connect public health residents across Europe. I would encourage any public health resident who is interested in Euronet to come along to the next meeting and take the opportunity to meet and develop links with European colleagues.

Desmond Hickey
Public health resident in Ireland


Discussion Groups Reports

Big Data
We organized a discussion group on themes related to Public Health Informatics (PHI), especially Big Data, during the Euronet Meeting in Valencia. Our group attracted much interest, becoming one of the biggest discussion group during the meeting.

The participants were involved in discussions about hot themes in the application of informatics and advanced data analysis to health problems: for example, what are Big Data, Electronic Health Records, machine learning and its possibilities and limitations, using geographic data for health planning, the range of possibilities for population studies allowed by the use of internet usage data, like search engines data, social network data (the so-called Digital Epidemiology), etc… We discussed such topics alternating request for information, personal experiences, and discussion of Public Health implications.

We also focused on the ethical implication of Big Data; we considered how essential is to get access to precise and rich data for better health programming, but much care must be taken regarding how this data is treated, stored and distributed. We made some examples, like being theoretically possible to identify specific persons using even anonymized data, or that insurance companies and employers could use genomic data about one person and treat them differently on a hypothetical risk of disease. We also discussed a bit regarding the new European law for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and its implications for research purposes. It was also remarked that data digitalization without enough technical expertise could lead to data losses or worse to exposition to informatic attacks (e.g., ransomware). We cited how the technology called Blockchain, the backend of the bitcoin, that works by creating encrypted, redundant, decentralized copies of the modifications of the data can be a solution to health data management, interchange, and security. It was also discussed that too much privacy in certain settings could hinder the development of research that would be beneficial for Public Health but not possible in these days for privacy and corporate concerns. One example are the limitations on access to Google Search and Twitter data that would allow to follow health discussion and even identify possible cases of disease a lot faster than usual surveillance systems.

These discussions led us to wonder if training provided by our Public Health Schools on this matter is enough and coherent with the rapid evolution of information technology. We thought about creating a Euronet working group which aim is to map the presence of informatics courses in Public Health training schools along Europe and evaluate which topics are covered and whether the program is up to date with the latest development. Finally, we created a WhatsApp discussion group where people can share material about the application of informatics to Public Health.


Climate Change
The climate change discussion group started small but gradually grew in members by the minute as word reached the street that it was “pretty hip”. The discussion included both the public health related outcomes of climate change and the actual activities that influence the climate change phenomenon.

The broadness of the discussion prompt was thoroughly explored. Here are some of the ideas that received more attention:
-How droughts and reduced access to water, can make the resources an object of conflict and a cause of population displacement.
-The expected rise in sea levels as another cause of population displacement and its effect on medical infrastructure.
-The social and economic impact of extreme events and the probability that countries with little experience on these events may be underprepared for a potential hit.
-Changes in vector and pathogen habitats that result in the displacement of diseases towards unsuspecting countries in colder, drier climates.
-The grim effect of both heat and cold waves that result in increased mortality.
-The pollution of the seas, the effects of microplastic and the current initiatives to tackle these issues.
-The effects of increased air pollution on suicide rates, perhaps due to an exacerbation of patients’ symptoms.
-The surprising fact that climate change hinders animal growth, thus resulting in smaller and smaller animals every year.

Two distinct outcomes resulted from this discussion. 
On one hand there is the question of whether EuroNet MRPH can or should do anything to contribute in the fight against Climate Change. A campaign was proposed to promote awareness within and beyond the association. This, to an extent, can be considered a current “work in progress” in the form of a carbon footprint estimation project proposed for the Valencia Summer Meeting; the idea of which is to estimate the amount of emissions caused by our means of transportation and how much it would actually cost to neutralize such an impact. The other outcome is the proposal of a working group on one of the different discussed subjects. The lack of easily accessible data was observed although there are some free to access resources on things like rainfall, meteorology or air pollution. The review of different national policies in countries represented in EuroNet and beyond was also suggested.

Although a specific line of work was not identified, climate change turned out to be an issue that leaves no one indifferent. This fact along with its pressing nature make it an excellent research theme for members of the association.


Nutrition
The working group discussed food and nutrition problems and related issues in order to get together, share ideas and present possible solutions. The case of in vitro meat opened the debate, and talking about its environmental and animal welfare arguments for development got us thinking about the cultural aspect of food as well. The group concluded it to be not a solution to the excessive meat consumption, but a complement to traditional burgers, expanding consumer choices. However, the different food demands (kosher, vegan, etc) of present days can be seen as a threat, because of the sustainability issues and cultural aspects. Food becomes less of a bridge and more of a problem when in the same community/society there are different schools of thought and very different food demands. Insect eating was another issue that raised the debate on why food is such an important part of our cultural heritage, and got us discussing how it would be really difficult to change mindsets, and on it taking a number of generations to accept this practice. The present practices are unsustainable and we don’t believe this practice, needing such a long time to produce results, would be a primary solution for the environmental concerns.

When talking about food one can never ignore the way food is actually being grown and produced. We talked about environmental concerns, such as the amount of land needed to feed animals for consumption, and the fish farming policies that make the fish grow faster but with loss of nutrition properties. Permaculture, seed biodiversity and the Monsanto problem were also discussed. We also discussed how the new diets/alternative eating styles are having both a positive and negative impact on health, positive or negative depending on the consumption of unprocessed or highly processed foods, respectively, and sustainability, depending on sourcing of the food (local vs imported).
We then talked about how the future diet would look like, bringing up the subject of the vegetarian and the reducetarian diets. This would definitely have an impact on the fish and meat economical sector, both on the implementation phase (to get people into these diets) and the maintenance phase (keeping these diets going for generations). The policies needed to reduce the consumption of these products would probably be around creating quotas for producers and new taxes for consumers.

The subject of the Common Agricultural Policy, implemented since the 60’s came to discussion regarding the previous subject. We talked about how this set of policies was created to solve the problems at that time, and that we now need to reduce subsidization gradually for the meat industry, to raise the subsidization for food & veg companies and tax the consumption following different rules.
The need for vending machine policies and the tax on sugar closed the working group session, and different participants talked about their countries present concerns and policies.


Fake Therapies
The discussion group was very participative, and was greatly nourished by the contributions of many residents in whose countries the health policies are very varied in these subjects. One of the central aspects of the talk was the daily medical work that the doctor must do in Hospital or at the consultation room, with a patient user of fake therapies. It became clear, that many times the physician lacks the time and the opportunity to explain (or even, argue) with the patient, but it’s always important to provide a support and understanding (never blame the patients for being scammed nor ridicule them for their choices). At least, it would be great to refer to places where the information is clear to clarify his/her doubts. It would be interesting to have a list of websites or pages where the societies talk informatively and rigorously about the most common pseudotherapies (Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Reiki …).

The participants talked about the various media strategies recently carried out in different parts of the world, on campaigns against anti-vaccine movements. For example, the case of the United States was brought up, where several anti-vaccine videos were published, dramatizing the danger and the health risks of young women who were vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus. Since they had a lot of social repercussion, the fire was fought with fire and the societies in favor of vaccination made a very similar type of video dramatizing the positive effects about safety and efficacy of the same vaccines, achieving even greater diffusion. Issues about the Health policy from various countries were also discussed (fines to parents in Australia, the requirement to present the vaccination cards for schooling in Italy, etc.)
Finally, experiences were exchanged on specific cases of users of pseudosciences and the legal perspective of many of them in Spain, through the legal gaps and jurisprudence of specific events.

 

Next Meeting: 1-3 December 2018, Velika Planina!
See you there!

 

Summer Reading: “Deadly Outbreaks”!

Summer time, hot weather, (almost) everyone on vacations… Well, not me! But during the weekends I choose to hang out at the terraces of nice cafes, enjoying the good weather with some friends. I could tell you I usually drink water and natural juices in these occasions but I would be lying: a glass of red wine or some nice sangria are my options on these relaxed afternoons.  It is the perfect timing to read a nice book, too. The last one I read was “Deadly Outbreaks” by Alexandra Levitt(1) and was result of a purchase on the internet, while searching for books on public health issues.

Before going to medical school, I was already working in infection control area at a 400 bed hospital, where epidemiological surveillance is an important component of our functions and, I must admit, one of my favorites. During these 13 years of work at this hospital, I already had to deal with few outbreaks but it was the one in the summer of 2006 I remember the most, when I was still a “freshman” in the Infection Control Committee. At the time, the microbiology laboratory gave us an alert: multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii was isolated in sputum of a trauma patient transferred from a central hospital some days before.  After a first assessment we found out he was located in the Surgical Intermediate Care Unit, a small pos-op infirmary “packed” with 6 patients, where the distance between beds was roughly 1,5 meters and in which “our” patient was frequently coughing and in need of nursing care. This microorganism was not part of our local ecology, so this was considered an infection control “code blue”! The patient and the unit were immediately put in contact isolation, while the lab confirmed other two positive patients for MDR A. baumannii. An outbreak was officially declared and, with the support of the hospital management, rigorous infection control measures were taken: all contacts with this patient were identified and put in contact isolation, an epidemiological line list was done and an active surveillance protocol was implemented. The unit was closed to new admissions, environment hygiene measures were reinforced, patients were stratified by risk level and a cohort of healthcare workers (HCW) was put in place (specific teams of HCW took care of “confirmed”, “suspected” and “negative” patients). Meanwhile, the hospital that transferred the index patient warned us that they were experiencing problems with this microorganism but this information came to us too late… After eight months, 15 cases (8 of which died), 61 patients put in isolation and surveillance, and a lot of effort (and costs) for the hospital, HCW’s and patients, the outbreak was finally controlled. As a consequence of it, a surveillance protocol for MDR A. baumannii was implemented (applied for all patients transferred from other hospitals). In my opinion, one of the “lessons to be learned” from this outbreak is the importance of communication between and within healthcare units to be able to minimize infection control risks, related to patients mobility. Twelve years have passed and, today, this and other hospitals have a risk evaluation procedure that is applied to all admitted patients.

But back to the book: if you liked this outbreak description, you will LOVE “Deadly Outbreaks”1 and you won’t be able to sleep until you end it! The author, Prof. Alexandra Levitt, is an expert on emerging diseases and other public health threats and worked for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She dedicates this book to all field epidemiologists that “save lives threatened by killer pandemics, exotic viruses and drug-resistant parasites”. The book describes, in an exciting and pedagogical way, seven public health mysteries occurred in the United States of America between 1976 and 2006, through the learn-by-doing approach of the “medical detectives” of CDC´s Epidemic Intelligence Service. In the “author’s note”, three advices are given, namely: “be prepared for the unexpected” (when it comes to infectious microorganisms); “we are all in it together” (with the phenomena of globalization, wherever we live, we are all at risk) and the importance of participating in a strong public health system, in the pursuit of prevention of disease spread among the community.

In one outbreak described in the book, investigating the mysterious death of several infants at a Children´s Hospital, several epidemiological tools were used, including the “epi-curve” and the “relative risk of death” associated with each nurses’ shifts, estimating the risk of a baby dying when a specific person was on duty. The study concluded that the hospital should strengthen central control of medicines and implement a monitoring system of deaths, by time and place, within the hospital. (2)

Did you know that, as a consequence of an outbreak in a Philadelphia hotel affecting middle-aged Legionnaires, CDC fielded one of the biggest investigative team ever but couldn´t find its etiological agent for several months? In fact, it was a young microbiologist of CDC that discovered it when, later on, decided to review and explore the finding of some rods that he, first, assumed were contaminants of his cultures (“be prepared for the unexpected”, remember?). Did you know that, after its discovery in 1976, Legionella pneumophila was retrospectively implicated in cases as far as 1943?

More recently, did you know that an epidemiologic outbreak investigation, affecting abattoir workers exposed to porcine brain, led to the discovery of an immune-mediated polyradiculoneuropathy? (3)

Throughout the book, these and many other epidemiological and infectious diseases facts are given, engaging the reader to explore the scientific method, by testing various hypotheses through the use of the technologies available at the time of the outbreak. At the end of each chapter, the author reviews the main facts to illustrate the lessons learned. Did I catch your attention? Hope so! Despite the book portraying the modus operandi (and available associated resources) of the North-American reality, it’s full of interesting facts that, in my opinion, will enrich our knowledge in public health area. A “must-read”!

_________________________

References:

  1. Levitt, Alexandra M (2015) Deadly Outbreaks. 2nd edition. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.
  2. Buehler JW, Smith LF, Wallace EM, Heath CW Jr, Kusiak R, Herndon JL (1985) Unexplained deaths in a children’s hospital – An epidemiologic assessment. N Engl J Med; 313(4):211-6.
  3. Holzbauer SM, DeVries AS, Sejvar JJ, et al. (2010) Epidemiologic investigation of immune-mediated polyradiculoneuropathy among abattoir workers exposed to porcine brain. PLoS One. 5(3):e9782.

_________________________

David Peres
Public Health Resident
Public Health Unit – Community Health Center Group of Povoa de Varzim / Vila do Conde (Portugal)

What do you think #PublicHealthLooksLike? An unusual (but rewarding) PH resident attachment

In my experience it’s not very often that you get to combine your public health work with your hobbies, particularly when your outside interests include the arts as mine do. However, in my current role I am for the first time being able to do both daily, which has been exciting, rewarding and challenging!

For the last two months I have been working with the UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH) communications and policy team. They cover a lot of ground and I’m involved in several workstreams, but the main piece of work that I ‘own’ is the planning, implementation and promotion of their photography competition #PublicHealthLooksLike.

As the name suggests, the competition is aiming to improve the way FPH represent their members (i.e. the public health workforce) by showcasing what public health work really looks like in the UK and around the world, rather than using stereotypical ‘stock photo’ images of attractive models with stethoscopes. They’re offering some great prizes including £250 and a year’s free membership, but most importantly they’re planning an exhibition in London featuring the top ten photographs to celebrate the amazing diversity of public health.

Although the competition has only been running for six weeks and doesn’t close till October 19th, it’s already been incredibly inspiring to see both the engagement from public health professionals and the early entries coming in. I suppose we all know in the abstract that public health is a broad church, with people working in so many different areas, but there’s a big difference between knowing that and actually seeing it visually. We’ve had photos of anything and everything, from people supervising walking groups in the sunny English countryside to members hosting immunisation clinics in the Middle East.

From a personal point of view, I’ve loved being able to engage with potential entrants online, encouraging them to recognise their talents and the incredible work that they do every day without probably realising how interesting and engaging that might be to other people. It’s made me think seriously about how little I talk about or share my own public health work, and try to (slowly) increase the amount of personal and professional engagement I do on Twitter and other social networks. We should all talk more about what we do, because it’s often only by hearing and seeing the experiences of others that we become inspired to seek out new challenges – that’s partly why networks such as Euronet are so important.

The competition is still running, and I would definitely recommend Euronet members enter to showcase the work that we all do on a daily basis across Europe! You can enter up to five photos through the competition website. If you’re on Twitter it would be fantastic if you could take 10 seconds to RT this tweet to publicise the competition across Europe more widely, and if you fancy following either @FPH or me personally you can find us there as well.

I look forward to seeing your entries! If anyone is interested in hearing more about the competition or attachments with FPH, please just drop me an email at rachel.thomson8@nhs.net.

_________________________

Rachel Thomson
Public Health Resident
UK Faculty of Public Health, London

EuroNet MRPH Winter Meeting


Dear friends!

Slovenian public health residents joined EuroNet MRPH in November 2016. Since then we have enjoyed attending every meeting and it is high time for us to organise one ourselves. We hope to take our collaboration to new heights both literally and figuratively. Thus, following on the heels of the EPH Conference in Ljubljana we will be hosting the EuroNet MRPH Winter Meeting on the spectacular alpine plateau of Velika Planina.

Our venue Velika Planina rises to 1,600m offering fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and is just a short drive, cable car and chairlift out of the capital – don’t worry we are organising transport. It is one of the last high alpine herdsmen’s villages in Europe with the plateau dotted with cute wooden huts though we’ll be staying in more comfortable lodgings than the herdsmen of the past (imagine saunas and outdoor wooden hot tubs;). It will be the perfect escape from the city’s public health hazards of noise and air pollution. Enjoying the clean air of the alps and with no distractions around we will be able to focus our energy on networking and the inner workings of EuroNet MRPH.

The General assembly will be hosted at the Zeleni rob restaurant, a snowball’s throw away from the cottages, with plenty of delicious traditional Slovenian food. As public health residents we think we can also be trusted to responsibly enjoy a drink together, just enough to facilitate the exchange of stories from past meetings as well as share our work and new ideas.

A winter fairy-tale is coming and we hope you are going to join us! Don’t forget to apply before October 7th!!
More info at: http://euronetmrph.org/velikaplanina-meeting-2018

Velika Planina, Slovenia 2018

Association of Public Health Residents of Slovenia

The Turkish association of residents in Public Health joins EuroNet MRPH

During the Summer Meeting in Valencia, Turkey joined EuroNet MRPH. With a population of more than 80 millions people, Turkey is one of the biggest countries of the European continent. In this country Public Health is listed as a clinical discipline and it has several challenges to face. It is expected that around 2400 public health specialist will be needed in 2023 to answer to the Turkish population’s needs*.

EuroNetters are extremely happy to welcome their Turkish colleagues and are looking forward to meeting them all as soon as possible. The road for a better “health for all” is still long, but together we are stronger!

Please, find attached to this post the presentation of Turkish residency programme. More information will be soon updated on the website.

Public Health Residency Turkey

 

*http://dergipark.gov.tr/download/article-file/152999

A road map for professionalisation: the ASPHER/WHO/CoP meeting at the Imperial College of London

In mid-June, we had the opportunity to strengthen once again our partnership with ASPHER.
As you may know, EuroNet has been working with ASPHER and the WHO on the professionalisation of the public health workforce. This project has three main areas of work:
· The Professionalisation Road Map
· The Competencies framework
· The Accreditation work
A Working Group led by Jo McCarthy has been giving opinion and advice on the first two areas of work.
As a key stakeholder, EuroNet was invited to the expert meeting held on the 19th of June in London. In there, different experts and stakeholders from across Europe discussed the way in which the public health workforce can achieve the same degree of professionalization than other medical specialties. We also discussed the common framework of competences that a public health professional should achieve and what would the accreditation process.
Three Euroneters (Damiano, Damir and Alberto) participated in the key discussions led by ASPHER and WHO senior public health professionals, such as Katarzyna Czabanowska, Anna Chichowska or Jose María Martín Moreno. It was a very productive meeting in which we were strengthened our commitment with this project.
Alberto had the opportunity to share his insights as a key note listener at the end of the day. Also, Damir Ivankovic, as a member of ASPHER’s executive board, stayed in London for the rest of the week participating in the ASPHER retreat.
As usual, we used our visit to London to visit euroneters around the world. In this case, we had the opportunity to visit Diogo, from Portugal; and to share stories, views and public health opinions whilst enjoying a pizza in central London.

Promoting Public Health – EuroNet workshop in Catania

On Friday the 15th of June, we had the opportunity to present a workshop at the “Giornate degli Specializzandi di Igiene e Medicina Preventiva”. This is an annual congress that brings together all the public health residents in Italy. This year it took place in the beautiful city of Catania, Sicily.
The workshop was organised on the second day of the congress. Alberto, EuroNet’s president, and Spela, E-RECT’s working group lead, presented the session. During the workshop, both euroneters described the network to our Italian colleagues, as well as the work that we do in relation to improving the public health training programmes in Europe.
After a couple of short presentations, the Italian residents were divided in groups and asked to give their opinion about how public health could be promoted as a popular specialty among medical students; and about the good and not so good aspects of their residency programmes. Their responses were discussed and collected, so that they can inform future work of the network.
The workshop proved to be popular, generating useful discussions which prove the importance of the topic.
We were also able to see old euroneters who we hope to see soon and to meet new residents, some of which have been gifted with EuroNet’s party spirit (to be continued in Valencia). We really enjoyed the Sicilian hospitality, which included a large amount of aubergines and late parties.
We want to thank specially Robin Thomas, who was “in charge” of us. He really did a fantastic job and we are very grateful to him.
We hope this is only the beginning of EuroNet’s involvement in national events such as this one. By being present in this type of congresses, we ensure that our work is aligned with the interests of public health residents across all European countries.
Once again, grazie per tutto EuroNet Italy!