The ESRA Educational Grant (https://esraeurope.org/esra-educational-grant) was introduced for ESRA Members to support of participation in a teaching program in an ESRA Approved Training Institution in Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine in Europe. The grant (max. 3’000€) encourages the participation in teaching programs (rotations) and/ or research of a duration of at least three months and is thought to cover travel costs and costs of living at the teaching site.
The applicants choose an ESRA Approved Training Center where they wish to do their extended training and after a positive contact a competitive application is sent to ESRA. The Grant Committee will select twice a year the best candidates based on a rating score and the ESRA Board will decide depending on the number and quality of the applications, how many Grants will be distributed.
The Balgrist University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland was the first Hospital hosting ESRA Educational Grants in 2011 and has hosted since then 23 Grant winners and many trainees that did not receive the Grant but wanted to learn from us from all over the world. Time to ask some of the last Grant winners (Tea from Slovenia, Federica from Italy, Luisa from Portugal) and a colleague who did not received it but wanted to follow the steps of a colleague at her hospital (Laura from Portugal) some questions about their motivations, expectations, experiences and advises:
Why did you apply for this grant / what were your expectations.
How did you select your Training Center?
What were you able to learn (in Regional Anesthesia)?
Laura enjoying the great team spirit with Choukri, one of our anaesthesia nurses
What were you able to learn additionally (sedation, other aspects of anesthesia)?
How was this experience on the personal level? Was it worth leaving home to see how others do?
What was the best thing / event / experience during your stay?
Was it worth it? Why would you recommend it to your colleagues?
From the perspective of the responsible for the program in our hospital my view is that the ESRA Educational Grant offers a great possibility to educate young colleagues, spread the knowledge of RA, learn from the trainees how things are done in other places and teach them to solve daily problems using the knowledge they have acquired. I consider it a privilege to teach and educate the next generation. You have to be an enthusiast, have a team who supports the spirit of teaching and you have to take your time to teach also during a busy program.
In this spirit, some of our ESRA Grant winners have taken advantage of visiting us spending additional time in research and in developing a professional career in Switzerland. Tea Osterc engaged herself in different case reports of which one was publish recently (see pictures). Barbara Rupnik was offered a consultant position in our hospital due to her performance after her stay and is now consultant in one of the biggest hospitals in Zurich. Additionally, she is engaged as workshop tutor and lecturer inside ESRA and is an EDRA examiner.
I can only recommend to all dedicated residents to compete for this Grant and take the opportunity to visit one of the ESRA Approved Training Institutions all over Europe. Not only you will make an unforgettable experience, you might also push your career to a higher level!
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