Awardee: Dr. Nejra Mašić, Resident at the Department of Neurology, University Clinical Center Sarajevo
Host Institution: Prof. Dr. Stefan Kiechl, Stroke Unit, Department of Neurology, Medical University of Innsbruck
Last month, thanks to the European Stroke Association and the D2D programme, I had the opportunity to broaden my residency experience by visiting one of the best stroke departments in Europe, possibly even beyond. My colleague from the Medical University of Sarajevo, Dr. Malik Galijašević, who is a neuroradiology resident in Innsbruck, suggested that I visit the stroke department due to their remarkable results in the field of thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy.
During my visit, I discovered that the Neurology Clinic of the University Hospital Innsbruck has the highest scientific output in the entire Innsbruck Medical University. It was an amazing experience to observe their daily practical and scientific routines. Professor Alessandra Fanciulli, who mentored me throughout the application process, also guided me during my
visit. She introduced me to the Stroke department staff and made my visit even more interesting by inviting me to the Autonomic Dysfunction outpatient clinic. Prof. Michael Knoflach and Dr. Cristoph Muller have really given their best to introduce me to the Stroke unit works dynamics. Additionally, Prof. Gregor Brossner invited me to the Headaches outpatient clinic and took me to the Intensive Care Neurology unit. It was fascinating to see such a comprehensive neurology intensive care unit, where neurologists perform invasive procedures such as tracheotomies and intubations. Coming from a developing country and working at a clinical centre with fewer available resources, it was of great importance to see how small changes in thinking can improve our overall clinical experience, patient outcomes, and scientific results.
What impressed me the most was the collaboration between neuroradiologists and neurologists. They discussed newly admitted patients every morning at a meeting and worked together during the thrombectomy process in the emergency department. Furthermore, every step of the way is streamlined to help physicians work efficiently without wasting time. Having sufficient doctors, financial resources, infrastructure, and management enables them to be at the forefront of research in many fields, which in turn allows them to make clinical decisions with confidence.
This visit has profoundly influenced my way of thinking and approach, from making small changes in therapeutic and diagnostic approaches to considering larger ones for my future career development as a young neurologist and scientist. My colleagues in the department were eager to hear about the practices we could apply to our everyday work, and I was happy to share. I hope this is just one of many future opportunities to enhance my knowledge and experience and bring it back to my home country.
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.