Awardee: Dr. Iulia-Ioana Enache, National Institue of Neurology and Neurovascular Diseases, Bucharest, Romania
Host Institution: Prof. Marcel Arnold, Inselspital Bern, Switzerland from 7-18 August 2023
In August 2023, I was awarded with the opportunity to visit Inselspital Bern as part of the ESO Department to Department Visit Programme. I was greeted there with the utmost welcome. I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to Prof. Marcel Arnold, Head of the Stroke Center, Stroke Unit and Neurovascular Center in Inselspital, for the care he showed in ensuring my integration within the team and for the unique chance to gather invaluable knowledge. I would also like to thank the European Stroke Organisation for the tremendous opportunity I have been offered.
During my visit, I shared my time in between the Stroke Unit and the Emergency Department. Within the Stroke Unit, I attended morning rounds along with interns and specialists. I want to thank Dr. Philipp Bücke and Dr. Thomas Meinel, as well as Dr. Jessica Roos, Dr. Sofiya Shamailova for the patience and kindness they showed in answering all of my questions and curiosities and for the courtesy of sharing their knowledge with me in how to accurately and efficiently manage stroke patients. I was taken aback by the preparation and the sheer amount of personnel ready to assist the patient in any way possible.
Stroke care does not involve just state-of-the-art treatment and imaging in Bern, but there is also a focus on recovery, with speech therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists working with patients from day 1 of their cerebrovascular events. Neurological care all over Switzerland is also finely tuned, as transfers for further rehabilitation or other comorbidities is rapidly set into motion, ensuring the Stroke Unit caters to acute care, first and foremost.
In the Emergency Department, I witnessed the rapid response time and adept handling of cases, starting from the triage to how neurologists rose to clinical challenges. My special thanks go to Dr. Ulfrid Amberger and Dr. Anelia Dietmann for generously finding the time for their explanations for me, in spite of their busy shifts.
I was particularly impressed with the speed and ease with which patients in emergent situations can access high-performance imaging and immediate treatment. I found myself inspired by the idea of the Stroke Clock application, used to raise awareness as to how every second counts in the event of a stroke. I find it a very useful tool to improve the workflow of Stroke Centers all over the world and I intend to present this idea to my hospital, given that the application is offered for free, courtesy of Stroke Center Bern. This application is just one example of the invaluable knowledge I have gained and that I intend to pass on to my department.
To conclude, the Department to Department Visit Programme has been, to say the least, a great stepping stone to my career and has helped broaden my horizons as to the high standards stroke care throughout the world should strive for.
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.