Author: Marija Bender, MDEuorpean Stroke Master Teaching Course

University Hospital Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Stroke Master Programme

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Nelson Mandela

I agree, education is the most powerful weapon in achieving any goal. I was given the opportunity to gain my education in the best place: The European Stroke Master.

When I applied for the European Stroke Master, I didn′t have a very impressive professional background or expertise in stroke medicine. I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a developing country with all its charms and challenges. My hospital is the largest health institution in the southern part of the country and we were just undergoing last preparation for the first mechanical thrombectomy. I always considered my hospital to be excellent, full of potential, and ambitious young doctors who are trying to practice evidence-based medicine in everyday clinical practice. However, implementing changes and improving stroke care can be quite challenging everywhere, especially in developing countries, where experience and expertise lack in general. European Stroke Organisation and European Stroke Master programme recognised this problem and provided me with this incredible opportunity to learn.

And now, for almost a year and a half, I have been learning regularly and daily, from the world’s best stroke experts, along with 32 other excellent students from 20 countries around the world. Just like that, I became a part of this great learning community, a community of teachers and fellow students eager to learn and work across boundaries to achieve the same goals- improve our knowledge and skills, and make us good stroke physicians.

Attending the European Stroke Master has been invaluable to me personally, probably the thing that had the biggest impact on my career so far and the thing that will hopefully shape me into a person who will be able to significantly contribute to improving stroke care in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I believe that if you educate enough people if you give them knowledge and opportunity, no matter where they are, you will create an empowering force that can overcome disparities in stroke care. My hospital is a great example. Through the education and hard work of each member of our stroke team, we are evolving and advancing in stroke care each day. Educational opportunities provided by ESO to my colleagues and me were (still are) invaluable in this process, and I hope that we will continue to have this kind of support. Therefore, I emphasize the importance of the education of physicians in neglected regions and regions with poor stroke care, and I encourage ESO to keep investing in doctors with similar backgrounds as mine.

We have made excellent progress in stroke treatment, but still, there is a lot of room for improvement, we have a long way to go. Maybe we will not always have the same resources as developed regions, but we will definitely no longer lack knowledge.

Thank you European Stroke Organisation! Thank you European Stroke Master!

Learn more about the European Stroke Master Programme.