Here is the interview with the final presenter at the Young Stroke Physicians and Researchers (YSPR) session at ESOC 2018, Dr Maren Ranhoff Hov. Maren is a training neurologist and researcher in Oslo University Hospital Norway and a former ambulance assistant (paramedic) with a PhD in pre-hospital stroke management.

Her presentation the project assessing use of prehospital NIHSS in conventional ambulance services to identify acute stroke patients, scored the highest among the experts and she was awarded a place at the upcoming ESO Stroke Summer School in Berlin, Germany.

Interviewed by Nicolas Martinez-Majander, MD, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland.

How did you get involved in stroke research?

My additional experience was form the ambulance service of Northern-Norway during my years in medical school. It was a part time job and gave my life long experiences in the challenges of the prehospital phase of acute medical disorders. After completing my compulsory internship I applied to become a PhD student at the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation in a Mobile Stroke Unit project

Why did you choose your topic?

I really wanted to do research on acute diagnostics prehospital, and ended up with the great challenges in acute stroke triage to treatment.

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

Oh, that’s a long list. However, the major challenge in all prehospital research is to include patients and with the important ethical aspects of informed consent.

How to balance your work life and free time/home life?

I believe that I manage this quite well. I have two beautiful sons at 3 years and 6 years of age, and they help me put all challenges in work aside and have joyful times at home.

How did you experience the session and how will it influence your research project in the future?

First of all, it is a great opportunity for me and my project to get a change to be part of a workshop for young researchers in stroke. The preparation for the session has made me reflect on methodology and endpoints. And when you know you’ll get evaluated by such experts, you really want to get the most out of it and be well prepared. Off course there were a lot of nerves, and I was a bit shaky afterwards. However, the experts had some really relevant questions that helped me clarify some important aspect in my project. I also hope that the audience got interested in prehospital research and the important topics and possibilities that lie in this part of the field. Thank you ESOC for having me, and I can’t wait to come back and present results!