Newsletter March 2021: Update on the role of Trainee Representatives in other ESAIC Committees

Bernardo Matias, Albert de Bettignies, Andrew Grech, Anne Blank, Christopher Blacker, Dora Karmelic, Elena Gjorchevska, Eva Klabusayova, Nadine van Veenendaal, Olivier Duranteau, Tamara Skrisovska

ESAIC Trainees Committee Chair, Members and Trainee Representatives


Since 2018 the ESAIC Trainees Committee has Trainee Representatives in additional ESAIC Committees and after a first trial period, that evaluated their value in 5 strategic areas, these Representatives are currently present in a total of 12 Committees and Task Forces (Table 1). After the report of that first experience in 20191, the objective of this article is to present a summary of the developed activity during 2020.

A common factor to all the Committees is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited many of the programmed events or led to their modification. For this reason, in Accreditation of Training in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ATAIC), Education and Sustainability Committees, the integration process is still taking place (although, in the case of Education, there had already been several contributions from the previous representative).

During 2020, the Communication Committee Representative actively participated in the rebranding of ESAIC, through participation in several focus groups, and on the continuous review of the Society’s monthly newsletter articles.

In the eLearning Committee, the workload was focused on the COVID-19 series webinars from the beginning of the pandemic situation, providing health care professionals with clinically relevant, reliable information sources about this global challenge. There were two meetings of the Committee and the main agenda included webinars for 2020 and proposal topics for the subsequent year. Many plans were not fulfilled (e.g., the Cup of Coffee podcasts project) but some opportunities arose, like organising the Euroanaesthesia virtual congress where the Committees were faced with new tasks and roles. It was, above all, an extraordinary year for everyone and eLearning became one of the most important aspects of education and collaboration.

After the integration process, the Gender Equity Committee Representative contributed to selecting two new members that start their term in 2021. The ESAIC strongly supports gender equality, and as a member, she helped in promoting and dispersing a survey about this topic among Anaesthesiologists. This Committee has a mission to raise awareness of gender issues and promote equal opportunities and representation of women and men within European Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine.

The Guidelines Committee defines the methodology for making ESAIC guidelines, selects the respective topics and experts, collects and evaluates available documents throughout Europe, establishes relationships with other Societies to prepare possible collaborative positions and defines how to implement these documents The Trainee Representative in this Committee contributed to discussions on the evaluation of current guidelines and preparation of new ones while striving for the involvement of more young ESAIC members in the development of future recommendations.

Participation in the National Anaesthesiologists Societies Committee (NASC) was focused on using this network to share topics of interest to trainees, namely the current survey on simulation training or the election process for Chair of the Trainees Committee. The Representative also shared with NASC Representatives that ESAIC annually has one invitation for Euroanaesthesia for a trainee from each represented country (preferably the respective National Trainee Representative) and that this should be used for the next physical edition.

The Patient Safety and Quality (PSQ) Committee had several achievements during this period and the biggest contribution by the Trainee Representative was to institute the Facebook Live Sessions via ESAIC Trainee Network Facebook page. The concept was to have an expert hold a short (20-30 minutes) lecture on this channel, while the viewers could comment, and the lecturer could reply in real-time. The video would later be available on the same page and possible to watch on-demand for the next couple of months. This is a cost-free way of promoting a safety culture in anaesthesia and a platform for exchanging ideas between trainees and experts in the field. For the moment, two live sessions were organised. The first one was with Arvid Steinar Haugen from ESAIC PSQ Committee entitled “Perioperative surgical safety checklists – effects, barriers and facilitators”, on September 13th. The second was held on December 16th, by Jannicke Mellin-Olsen, President of WFSA, past Secretary of ESA and a member of ESAIC PSQ Committee, on the topic of “Effective communication and the importance of checklists”. Both sessions were well received, engaging over a thousand viewers each. ESAIC Simulation Committee has expressed the wish to organise a Live Session of their own in February, and there are volunteers from the PSQ Committee for March, so this project will continue in the near future. The Committee is currently focused on organising content for the next edition of Euroanaesthesia and establishing Masterclasses on the topic of Patient Safety in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care.

The Scientific Committee annually prepares a rich scientific programme for one of the biggest events in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care worldwide, which is the Euroanaesthesia congress. For that event, the ESAIC Trainees Committee prepares both a Scientific and Social programme, through the Trainee Representative in the Scientific Committee, aiming to do their best in preparing the programme which will integrate the most important and desirable topics for trainees, while including interactive sessions and keeping gender balance. The year 2020 was particularly challenging as it was necessary to move this huge event to the online format. In the end, the very first edition of the virtual Euroanaesthesia conference was highly successful and, most importantly, this modality managed to get top class educational talks to the living rooms of (not only) trainees across Europe. Currently, the Scientific Committee is discussing and developing new session formats and deepening the connections with the Trainees Committee and other Scientific Subcommittees, to bring even more interactive and educational sessions targeted directly to trainees in future editions. Hopefully, as soon as physical meetings will again be a reality, it will also be possible to enjoy time together during trainees’ social events, that had to be cancelled in 2020.

In the Simulation Committee, plans for Simulation Courses and newly created Masterclasses were challenged by the pandemic and related contact limitations. Thus, the Committee discussed several alternative concepts of Simulation Courses, including serious games and online courses to avoid personal contact, while also delivering important and interesting learning content with an altered, but also appealing experience. Furthermore, a survey regarding the requirements and distribution of simulation-based courses throughout Europe was organized. On this basis, the Trainee Representative and Trainees Committee developed a second survey, dedicated to Trainees, to gain insight in the status of simulation courses in Europe and especially the accessibility for Trainees. Another aim is to get information about their needs regarding additional courses and to be able to address them to the Simulation Committee and ESAIC Board after evaluation of the results. This survey was approved by the ESAIC board and started running in January 2021. To compensate for the cancelled sessions of Euroanaesthesia, a live session on Facebook is planned for 2021. Here, the Trainee Representative acted as mediator between Simulation and Trainees Committees and suggested possible interesting topics for this session.

As part of the Membership Task Force, the Representative contributed to a better insight of the reasons why Anaesthesiology trainees and consultants across Europe want to be members of the ESAIC. This was made by running a survey on Social Media and talking to focus groups. The Task Force also developed several strategies to see what is best for current members and how to increase the numbers of new members in the future. Cheaper Masterclasses, research grants and new opportunities for all trainees and young specialists were some of the proposals discussed.

In conclusion, despite the limitations of the current pandemic, the Trainee Representatives proved to be an important part of the Committees and Task Forces that they integrate. In 2021 we aim to further strengthen this collaboration, contributing to give voice to trainees’ needs and concerns, in order to bring ESAIC closer to the global ESAIC Trainee Network community.

If you have any question or suggestion, please contact us through: Trainees website/trainees-committee@esaic.org. At the end of the year, there will be elections for the positions of Elected Trainee Representatives and Committees where these members will need to be replaced, so we look forward to interested candidates.


Table 1 – Trainee Representatives in other ESAIC Committees and Task Forces

Committee Representative End of Term
ATAIC Committee Albert de Bettignies End of 2022
Communication Committee Christopher Blacker End of 2021
Education Committee Olivier Duranteau End of 2021
eLearning Committee Tamara Skrisovska End of 2022
Gender Equity Committee Elena Gjorchevska End of 2021
Guidelines Committee Nadine van Veenendaal End of 2022
NASC Bernardo Matias End of 2020
PSQ Committee Dora Karmelic End of 2022
Scientific Committee Eva Klabusayova End of 2021
Simulation Committee Anne Blank End of 2022
Sustainability Committee Andrew Grech End of 2022
Membership Task Force Elena Gjorchevska End of 2021



  1. ESA Newsletter, Issue 77: “ESA Trainees Committee: The role of Trainee Representatives in other ESA Committees”


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