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