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.

Session ID SC2 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 Georgina Figueras- Aguirre.

Georgina is a medical doctor specialised in Neurology at Parc Tauli Hospital. Within the hospital, she is part of the neurovascular team under the leadership of Dr. Canovas.

The title of her presentation is Cognitive Improvement After Carotid Revascularization in Asymptomatic Patients.

Can you tell us something about yourself?

I’m a mother of two lovely children, and I find joy in practicing yoga, playing tennis, and reminiscing about my past in competitive skiing. Curling up with a good book is also one of my favorite pastimes.

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

During my medical studies, my fascination with neurology and the intricate exploration of the nervous system blossomed. Throughout my residency in Neurology, I found myself increasingly drawn to neurovascular pathology, captivated by its urgency, the acute nature of its treatments, and the complexities of its underlying causes.

Concerning carotid disease, we established a multidisciplinary committee comprising vascular surgeons and interventional neuroradiologists. Together, we meticulously evaluate each case to determine the most appropriate treatment and management strategies for asymptomatic carotid arteries. It was during these evaluations that we observed a recurring trend: many patients presented with memory complaints, and intriguingly, some experienced noticeable improvements following revascularization procedures.

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

Balancing all aspects of life can indeed be the greatest challenge. Juggling the demands of work and family requires careful navigation, while ensuring our patients receive the highest quality of care amidst conducting research and staying updated on advancements can feel like a constant juggling act. However, with passion and enthusiasm driving our efforts, we find that everything falls into place in the end.

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

Indeed, navigating through busy or intense periods can be quite complicated. However, with a strong sense of organization and resilience, we can effectively manage even the most demanding of times. I firmly believe in the importance of carving out time for oneself and nurturing hobbies, as well as dedicating quality time to our loved ones. These moments of personal rejuvenation and connection serve as vital anchors amidst life’s whirlwind.

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?

From my perspective, effective communication and a shared commitment to teamwork are paramount on both ends. A mentor’s role is to empower their mentee, drawing out their best qualities while ensuring they feel supported and not overwhelmed. It’s crucial for the mentor to be approachable and available, fostering an environment of trust and open dialogue. Simultaneously, the mentee must demonstrate dedication and actively cultivate this relationship, fostering a mutual exchange of ideas and insights.