#EAPM: Next generation of health-care professionals gathers for advanced summer school

| June 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

The European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) is set to host its second summer school for young health-care professionals, or HCPs, entitled ‘New Horizons in Personalised Medicine’, writes EAPM Executive Director Denis Horgan.   

This year, the concept will be taken east to Bucharest, Romania, with the school taking place from 27-30 June. It follows on from last year’s successful inaugural school held in Cascais, Portugal.  Once again, the school will bear the name ‘TEACH’, which stands for Training and Education for Advanced Clinicians and HCPs, and the goal is to bring young, front-line professionals up-to-speed with fast-moving developments in the field.

Aimed at age-range 28-40, TEACH holds to the thesis that, if personalised medicine is to be in line with the EU and member state principle of universal and equal access to high-quality health care, then clearly it must be made available to many more citizens than is currently the case.  The event aims to be as interactive as possible, with plenty of direct dialogue between the expert faculty and the HCPs, and will also focus on improving communication between these young professionals and their patients.

This year, with Brexit looming large on the horizon, it is more important than ever to bring Europe together in a way that improves the already significant skills that HCPs possess to enable co-decision making which will effectively empower the patient.  Clearly the healthcare professional is trained to be an expert in diagnosing conditions and suggesting treatments. And yet the patient also knows more about his or her own lifestyle, work environment and how much he can rely on family-care resources, for example, so co-decision is a growing part of modern-day medicine.

Health literacy on both sides of the fence is therefore key, and EAPM has said on many occasions that the European Commission, as well as individual member states, needs to promote this in a planned, ongoing, harmonised and effective manner. Therefore, this is clearly also a political and policy issue, given that Europe’s 500 million citizens are ageing and healthcare systems everywhere are under increasing strain.

All of these aspects will be raised during the four-day school.  Marius Geantă, President of the Center for Innovation in Medicine, said ahead of the event: “Medicine is changing every second and HCPs have to keep on the right track in order to deliver the best care for patients.

“In oncology, for example, the quantity of scientific information doubles every three years – it’s almost impossible for a doctor to read and understand all the data published by scientists. The need for high-level, multi-dimensional continuous medical education is higher than ever.

Geantă added: “The TEACH Summer School for personalised medicine is the first, and remains the only, comprehensive educational programme for HCPs and we’re honoured to host the 2017 edition in Bucharest.”

EAPM’s co-chair David Byrne, a former European commissioner for health and consumer affairs, said: “The title of the event is ‘New Horizons in Personalised Medicine’, so among other aspects, the Summer School will provide a forum for sharing ideas for innovation, and practicing communication skills.

“It will allow young HCPs to enhance their knowledge of personalised medicine and its potential, as well as to offer feedback about the priorities they felt we should be zooming in on down the line.”

And the Alliance’s Executive Director Denis Horgan said: “In the changing world of health care in Europe, which of course includes the exciting new developments in personalised medicine, the ongoing education of healthcare professionals has, so far, been under-emphasised.”

Horgan added: “I am delighted to say that 90 HCPs will join us here in the capital of Romania next week, and that’s an increase of around 30% on the first event last year. We’re clearly going in the right direction, but much remains to be done.”


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Category: A Frontpage, EU, European Alliance for Personalised Medicine, Health, Personalised medicine

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