EA20 Newsletter: Session ESAPD3: Planning your life-it is in your hands?


Sunday 29 November, 1000-1100H, Channel 8

This session draws on the experiences of several colleagues with the aim of maximising learning, increasing exposure to various situations to improve self-confidence, and to make best use of existing support systems to advance.

In the opening talk, “Things to do to shine in your residency”, Dr Sabine Nabecker (Clinical Fellow for Education and Simulation in Anesthesia, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada) will share her insights and thoughts on the topic of career planning for residents. “I am building on my own experiences as a resident, as being a mentee and also as being a mentor for other medical students and residents,” she says.

Dr Nabecker, who is an anaesthesiologist and emergency physician, will convey four topics that are important to focus on. She says: “I call it the 4P’s of career planning for residents. First, I will elaborate why it is important to focus on the people in your professional and personal life. Second, I will talk about finding the perfect place for your career plans. Third, I will show why it is important to find your passion but also to stay open-minded. And last but not least, I will talk about the importance of persistence in achieving your goals and the necessity to build skills of resilience on the way.”

In her presentation on ‘communicating with your boss’, Prof Idit Matot says she thanks the Scientific Committee for including several sessions such as this one, which focus on us as people and not just as anaesthesiologists. In her talk, she asks delegates: “What can be more important than communicating with your boss? When was the last time you did this?”

Prof Matot says she does not mean the last time you communicated with your boss through WhatsApp, in the operating theatre, in the corridor or in other general environments. “I mean when did you last schedule a meeting, between just you and your boss, to discuss you and your future?”

Such meetings are not easy to arrange since departmental Chairs have many duties. Yet he or she will have a huge impact on your future, providing letters of recommendation, taking you to conferences, involving you in research projects – thus investing time in knowing and properly talking to your boss is very worthwhile.

Prof Matot also emphasises that it is essential to forge a good relationship with the boss’s secretary, the gatekeeper to his or her life.  “My secretary/administrator is the person I speak to the most in my life, after my husband! Ask the secretary to help you organise a time to meet your boss. And choose a time your boss’s agenda when the pressures on them may be less great and they will have time and energy to engage,” she explains. “Come with a positive attitude and objectives, and also be prepared to talk a little about yourself and where you are in your career just to remind your boss of who you are and your position. Summarise the meeting at the end, so you and your boss are on the same page.”

She will explain how it is your responsibility to set up a meeting with the boss. If you leave it to him or her, you may be waiting a long time! She provides several examples of her residents and junior colleagues who have approached her and other senior staff, arranged meetings, made their presence felt, and also in some cases shown themselves to be early leaders by suggesting organisational changes – not an easy thing to do when facing the bosses! One junior colleague came to Prof Matot with a plan to do 3D printing of an airway to help manage a paediatric operation. The end result was a successful operation and a publication in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology (EJA).

“Remember also that your boss is a human being,” concludes Prof Matot. “And make sure that you and your team also schedule a time to celebrate. A meeting does not always have to be about work!”

Also in this session, Prof Wolfgang Buhre, Chair, Research Mentorship Program ESAIC and Medical Director, Division of Acute and Critical Care at Maastricht UMC+, The Netherlands, will give a talk on the Society’s Mentorship Program.

“Making people become more of who they already are – the title of my talk – is undoubtfully the basic idea of this program,” he explains.   “In recent months it became even more apparent that we need to connect to each other, to share our ideas and last but not least to teach and mentor in this rapidly changing medical environment. Therefore, mentorship in research is a technique which will become more and more relevant.”

The expertise of the mentor and the challenging questions of our mentees allows us to bring research to a higher level.  Most strikingly, Prof Buhre will say we can do this together in close cooperation using all different communication channels which are available.

“Our program started a couple of years ago and we are proud that the majority of mentors and mentees were successful in the progress of ideas,” he says. “Moreover, we learned from the previous years how important the match-up of mentor and mentee is, so we developed a couple of new ideas to take care of the match, both professionally but also from a personal point of view. In the near future, we will work on the interaction between the mentorship program and the research grant program. We have recognised how many good ideas merit further funding opportunities.”

Another presentation in this session will be “Beyond residency – Pearls to successful family-professional career”, given by Dr Sharon Orbach-Zinger, Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikvah, Israel.


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1 reply

Thanks the Scientific Committee for this topic. I will share all the emhasized pearls with my residents
10 months ago

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