Awardee: Espen Saxhaug Kristoffersen, from Akershus University Hospital, Norway
Host Institution: Department of Neurology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland
After several postponements caused by the pandemic, I was finally able to visit the highly recognized Inselspital in Bern from 24th January to 1st February 2023.
During my stay, I had the opportunity to participate in the morning ward rounds at the stroke unit, observe the work in the emergency department as well as the diagnostic work-up and treatment in a large hospital primary based on acute MRI imaging. My visit provided me with insight into a well-organized stroke unit in another European country, but also confirmed that we are doing most things in the same way in Switzerland and Norway. However, one thing is for sure – no stroke unit can beat the panoramic view of the Alps seen from the Inselspital.
The Bern stroke research group holds a strong reputation and we had plenty of time to discuss our on-going and to plan new projects. It was a pleasure to interact and discuss with so many people who are dedicated towards improving stroke diagnostics and treatment through high quality research.
In addition to the Department visit, I had the great pleasure of being invited to the annual 25th meeting of the Swiss Stroke Society in Neuchâtel. The meeting was very well attended and covered new scientific developments and controversies in the field of stroke. Furthermore, young researchers were given the opportunity to present their research as oral or poster presentations. PhD student Bernard M. Siepen held a very nice talk about one of our Swiss-Norwegian collaborations.
The last two days of my visit in Bern coincided with the 10th ESO-ESMINT-ESNR Stroke Winter School where I was able to participate as a guest on several interesting talks in addition to the daily routine at the stroke unit.
I would like to thank dr. Thomas Meinel and professor David Seiffge for their warm welcome at their hospital and for showing me around in the city of Bern and Switzerland. In addition, I would like to thank professor Urs Fischer for initially accepting me for a potential Department to Department visit to Bern back in 2019, and professor Marcel Arnold for making this possible in 2023. I am also grateful for the support of the ESO which gave me this opportunity. I have been so lucky that I have attended the ESO Stroke Summer School, ESO-ESMINT-ESNR Stroke Winter School and the ESO Edinburgh Stroke Research Workshop during the years and I will strongly encourage all younger stroke physicians to apply to these unique educational and networking activities.
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.