Awardee: Apoorva M Shankaranarayana, PhD scholar, Department of Physiotherapy, Manipal College of Health Professions, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India
Host Institution: Division of Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, UK
Period of visit: 23rd May, 2022- 28th May, 2022
I would like to start by expressing my gratitude towards ESO for providing this wonderful opportunity and my supervisors Dr John Solomon M and Dr Manikandan N for their encouragement during this programme. Also, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the support offered by Dr G Arun Maiya, Dean, MCHP.
The 1 week visit to the University of Nottingham was a commendable professional experience for me. The exposure gained in the University of Nottingham has left a defining mark in my professional career, giving me opportunities to interact with one of the experienced team in stroke rehabilitation led by Dr Rebecca Fisher. I would like to express my gratitude to Prof Marion Walker and Dr Rebecca Fisher for accepting and welcoming me to the university. Dr Niki Chouliara and Helen Taylor coordinated and scheduled all my activities during this visit, which was mostly at the Queen’s Medical Centre and I would like to thank her for the same. One of the main reasons I selected to visit this department was due to the research work that they have been conducting, which is similar to my current work as a part of my PhD. I had the opportunity to learn and discuss with experts about the Early Supported Discharge which was one of my research interests.
Networking: I met many other well-known researchers like Prof Kate Radford, Dr Trudi Cameron, Dr Jane Horne, Prof Catherine Sackley, Dr Helen Nankervis, Prof Nikola Sprigg, Prof Peter Langhorne Prof Avril Drummond, Lal Russel, Dr Shirley Thomas who were all very kind and open to discussions with me. I got a glimpse of their ongoing and future works as well. Networking was another main objective of this visit. I had the opportunity to present my work to them and receive their expert feedback on my research work. My discussions with them gave me new insights into stroke research. Further, understanding their journey in the stroke care has inspired me to view stroke rehabilitation in new perspectives and has opened up my mind to new possibilities and probable future collaborations. I was also involved in the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) meeting initiated by the NHS. This was something new and I was happy to see notice that patients were involved in decision making of research projects. This is impactful because treatment interventions and associated outcomes should be patient oriented. Further, it was very surprising to observe that patients asking professional questions about stroke, portraying the education and interest that they actually possessed in post stroke research.
On the last day, I had the opportunity to witness ongoing physiotherapy for admitted stroke survivors in City Hospital, Nottingham. I met some good rehabilitation clinicians and interacted with them about the intervention delivered to the stroke survivors. I could see the similarities as well as differences in the clinical system of rehabilitation there and in my home institution. Along with the professional aspect of this visit, I have had some personal learnings too. This visit has opened my mind in many ways possible. This was my first solo trip/visit. Visiting a foreign land and talking to people that I previously did not know has made me more confident, given me courage, and a sight of independence. It has helped me in networking and imparted better communication skills. I would like to conclude this report by stating that this programme by ESO is beyond words to describe and I highly recommend young researchers like myself to consider applying to this programme. It is an amazing opportunity to explore and experience another institute and take forth your experience towards a brighter career path in stroke research.
About the ESO Department to Department Visit Programme
The Department to Department Visit Programme aims to provide insight into stroke departments outside the applicant`s home country through a grant of EUR 1,500 offered to up to 10 young physicians and researchers to support a short visit of a week or as a contribution to a longer visit to an European department or laboratory.