This week the WFSA announced that applications are open for our WFSA-Baxter Scholarship to attend Euroanaesthesia in May.
We spoke to Dr Ruxandra Marin, a former Baxter scholar who was funded to attend the Euroanesthesia conference along with four others in May 2015. We discussed what she learned at the conference and how the experience has impacted her work as a resident anaesthetist in Romania over the past 8 months, to give possible applicants an idea of what to expect from the scholarship and what they can gain professionally.
Tell us about the conference. What were the most important things you learned at Euroanesthesia?
Dr Marin: First of all, I have to say that this conference made me realize how important our specialty is and how new studies and research are still needed in our field.
The lectures answered a lot of unanswered questions I had regarding blood loss, fluid management and sepsis. It was thrilling to attend a lecture about the problems young anaesthesiologists face in Eastern European countries and to learn how to manage them and be better at what we do. I also got to see and learn how to use a lot of new technical equipment which isn’t available in my country.
The e-poster area was one of the most interesting parts of the conference and I managed to take a lot of notes and share them with my colleagues back home. So, not only did I benefit from this experience, but they did as well. I also learned things I couldn’t have found in books - for example, how much time it takes for Sevoflurane to reach the same concentration in the brain as the concentration in the expired air.
From the WFSA meeting I learned about other countries where there are only one or two anaesthesiologists, and it got me thinking that we should help more the people around us. I’m planning on volunteering in the future if I’m able to.
The experience really helped me figure out how to take advantage of every opportunity available for us residents, and make the most out of it.
Who were some of the other people you met?
Dr Marin: I was very pleased to meet the other Baxter scholars, they are great people. We talked a lot about our profession, shared our views on anaesthesia and intensive care. We asked each other about the way a patient is anesthetized in our countries, what substances we use, how we ventilate them. We also talked about night shifts, how we manage tiredness and what other opportunities we have in our specialty. We still keep in touch on social media! I really enjoyed getting to know them.
How have you used your new knowledge back home?
Dr Marin: I attended a lot of presentations there and I have tried to apply what I learned here in Romania. I started being more careful when administering Furosemide, because we definitely use it more often than needed. That was one of the things I realized after attending the conference.
Another thing I changed in my everyday work is related to the administration of blood products. I used to administer blood and especially platelets too often, having read older guidelines. At the conference I discovered the new guidelines are and started administering blood products accordingly. The same was with anticoagulants.
Also, I am trying to get my colleagues to use the LMA more and introduce new techniques for postoperative pain relief (for example: nerve sheath catheters, which we don’t currently use).
Was the scholarship useful in other ways?
Dr Marin: Yes! I was extremely impressed by the WFSA team and was genuinely overwhelmed by the kindness everyone expressed towards us. I firmly believe in team work and people being kind to each other and sharing knowledge. That’s the best way in which we can evolve and be better at what we do.
For more information about WFSA-Baxter Scholarships for Euroanaesthesia 2016 please click here.