During the Young Stroke Physicians and Researchers (YSPR) session at ESOC 2024, four early career stroke physicians and researchers will present their planned or ongoing projects and receive feedback from two renowned stroke experts.

The session is open to all and will take place on Wednesday, 15 May, 08:30 – 10:00 CEST, in Room Singapore.

In this series of interviews, we are going to introduce the early career physicians and researchers who have been selected to present their research.

Today we introduce Chuanhui Li.

Chuanhui is a medical doctor and interventional neurologist at Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University in China.

The title of his presentation is Endovascular Treatment Of Severe Cerebral Venous Thrombosis.

Can you tell us something about yourself?

I am a medical doctor and interventional neurologist based in Beijing. Currently, I am an early-career physician and researcher at the Department of Neurology and Stroke Centre at Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University, China. My research focuses on recanalization therapies for acute ischaemic stroke, including intravenous thrombolysis and endovascular treatments.

How did you get involved in stroke research? Why did you choose this topic?

During my internship in neurosurgery and neurology, I developed a preliminary interest in cerebrovascular diseases. I later learned that stroke is a challenging disease that causes death and disability among the Chinese population, which further strengthened my determination to engage in work related to cerebrovascular disease. Dr. Xunming Ji, my postdoctoral supervisor at Xuanwu Hospital, informed me that research was essential if I wanted to become a top clinical physician. High-quality clinical research can guide clinical practice and assist in the prevention and control of cerebrovascular diseases.

Having gained some experience in conducting clinical research through internships and by working on the BAOCHE trial, I decided to continue my journey in stroke research, in collaboration with Dr. Xunming Ji and Prof. Tudor Jovin.

What have been the most difficult challenges regarding your research career so far?

So far, the most difficult challenge of my research career came from the research process of the BAOCHE trial. BAOCHE was an investigator-initiated, multi-centre, randomized controlled trial conducted over a 5-year period in China. The results of BAOCHE were published in NEJM, in 2022. BAOCHE was the first trial in which I fully participated. There were many difficulties and challenges during the trial, but of course, difficult things teach you the most, and I have gained a lot of experience from working on this trial.

How do you balance work life and free time/home life?

Balancing work life and personal time is an ongoing challenge for many people. Here are some of my strategies that can help strike a healthier balance:

  • Set clear boundaries: Define your work hours and stick to them. Avoid checking emails or working late into the night unless it’s absolutely necessary. Communicate your availability and boundaries to your colleagues and supervisor.
  • Make a schedule: Create a daily or weekly schedule that includes both work and personal time. Block out time for activities you enjoy, such as reading, exercise, or spending time with family and friends.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. These habits will improve your energy levels and help you stay focused at work and at home.
  • Communicate with your family: Talk to your family about your work schedule and responsibilities. Explain when you need to focus on work and when you’re available for family time.
  • Find a hobby: Having a hobby or interest outside of work can help you decompress and maintain a sense of identity and purpose.

Remember, achieving a healthy work-life balance is an ongoing process that requires conscious effort and adjustment.

What do you think a mentor should do to support the projects and the career of a mentee and, conversely, what should a mentee expect from a mentor?

A mentor should offer advice, direction, and insights into the field to help the mentee navigate challenges and opportunities. This could include suggesting strategies for tackling project issues, offering advice on career paths, or identifying areas for professional growth. While providing guidance, a mentor should also encourage the mentee to take risks and try new things. This can help the mentee develop their skills and confidence, ultimately leading to greater success in their projects and careers.

The mentee should actively seek the mentor’s guidance and advice, using it to enhance their work, projects, and career path. Although the mentor-mentee relationship can be personal, it should remain professional. The mentee should respect the mentor’s boundaries and maintain a professional demeanor in all interactions. In summary, a successful mentor-mentee relationship requires a commitment from both parties to support, learn from, and grow together.