The 7th Edinburgh Stroke Winter School was a 3-day course enabling 23 participants, at the beginning of their scientific career in stroke, to turn an idea into an actual research plan, with the guidance of experienced researchers in the field of stroke. We, Anna, Brian and Simone, would like to highlight some of our favourite aspects related to our individual research projects, the course lectures and the informal activities, in this blog. But first, let us introduce ourselves: Anna is a 27 year-old neuroenthusiast working as a clinical fellow in stroke medicine at Southend University Hospital and fellow at Department of Neuroscience and Vascular Simulation at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. Brian is a 33 year-old geriatric medicine trainee in London undertaking a Stroke Fellowship at Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London. Simone is a 26 year-old medical doctor who is currently a PhD candidate at the University Medical Center Utrecht. She coordinates the Dutch MR ASAP trial and is mainly interested in blood pressure management in relation to ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
Informal Aspects of the Winter Course
Edinburgh – a perfect setting for an inspirational course
Edinburgh is a fantastic city. It has green parks and hills, which provide great viewpoints on clear days, interesting museums, nice restaurants, shops and pubs, and a lively and warm atmosphere despite the sometimes chilly weather. I was lucky to spend the weekend prior to the course exploring this lovely city. The course itself and our accommodation were set on Edinburgh First campus. From inside St. Leonard’s Hall, where the lectures and discussion sessions took place, we looked out on Arthur’s Seat. It was a beautiful room with lots of light, where the course participants sat at a long table to encourage active participation and discussions.
Throughout the course there is a huge effort made to create engagement between the participants and lecturers. I particularly enjoyed the coffee breaks, lunch breaks, and the delicious breakfasts. These opportunities facilitated the sharing of ideas, stories as well as the opportunity to learn about where others live and work. Creating a positive culture is so important at these events and this was perfectly facilitated in these moments, aided by our engaging and passionate hosts Dr. Else Sandset and Dr. Fergus Doubal.
Finally, the Fun
But life does not end at work. This course gave us the opportunity to meet other people with similar interests from all over Europe and a few from beyond. We had the opportunity to share different interests and great amounts of laughter over Scottish cooking, Pizza and a few drinks. A practice that will hopefully continue over conferences to come.