Awardee: Mihail Kalnev, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital “St. George”, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Host Institution: Universitätsinstitut für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Neuroradiologie, Inselspital Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Period of Visit: 4 – 30 October 2021
I want to start this report by expressing my gratitude to Prof. Jan Gralla and European Stroke Organisation for the opportunity that was given to me. Last but not least, I am grateful to Prof. Pasquale Mordasini for organizing my stay at Inselspital and, of course – for the clinical advice that was given to me. The time spent at the Department of Neuroradiology in Bern has left a significant mark in my professional career, giving me the chance to be part of one of the most experienced teams in the field of neurointerventions. Moreover, I was welcomed by colleagues and sent by friends.
The team at the Department of Neuroradiology consists of highly experienced professionalists – Neuroradiologists and MTRAs, who are solving complicated and rare neurovascular pathology in their daily practice – strokes, AVMs, aneurysms, and other neurovascular diseases. It was of great importance for me to observe the decision–making process and the collaboration between the different Departments such as Neuroradiology, Neurosurgery, and Neurology. The weekly boards between the Departments the detailed discussions between the neurointerventionalists of every patient is something that I would definitely try to implement at my institution.
My first days at Inselspital had started smoothly, and the transition into the rhythm of Inselspital was easy thanks to Prof. Gralla and Dr. Pillgram–Pastor. She did the necessary to introduce me to the team and to demonstrate me the working process. In the following days, I met the whole team of highly skilled colleagues who explained to me in detail the most important aspects of every case and made me part of the clinical discussions. Prof. Gralla, Dr. Dobrocky, and Dr. Piechowiak revealed me the “tips and tricks” in challenging cases – something that in our profession could be the distinction between a successful case and a disaster.
The Stroke Center is something that Inselspital should be proud of. In my hospital, we are just establishing our center for mechanical thrombectomy, and gathering from the experience of Prof. Gralla and the other specialists is one of the key take–home messages of my observership. The Stroke Center established in Inselspital Bern is with high efficiency and gives incredible results that are in favor of the society.
The ESO Department to Department Visit Programme has one more important benefit for the participants – you can learn about another culture and another beautiful country. In my free time, I was able to explore the spirit of Bern, and together with my colleagues, I had the opportunity to fall in love with the magnificent Alps during our hike.
I am convinced that this program has broadened my knowledge and skills in managing neurovascular pathologies. I will seek to transfer the good practice of the Inselspital Bern to our institution.
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.