Welcome to The Post-EBMT for Trainees VJ Sessions brought to you by the Video Journal of Hematological Oncology (VJHemOnc). This exclusive discussion features Nico Gagelmann, Claire Horgan and Yasmina Serroukh, who debate the recent EBMT Trainee Committee and review the EBMT 2021 meeting trainee program.
The topics of discussion include the establishment of the EBMT Trainee Committee, the Trainee Committee objectives, and upcoming activities.
Establishment of the EBMT Trainee Committee & its objectives
“We felt some common needs, some common objectives to improve our training and training of everyone in Europe in the field of BMT and cellular therapy and that’s why we got together and that’s how we plan to work as a group.”
– Yasmina Serroukh
“I think together we all recognize that trainees come from very different backgrounds, work in very different centers and different countries with access to a different spectrum of resources. We’ve got trainees who have more experience in research, whereas are kind of new clinical setting and vice versa. It can all be a bit overwhelming, particularly coming into something as specialized as BMT and cellular therapy is. And we really wanted to provide resources targeted towards trainees that they could have available and work through, as well as providing support for trainees at all different levels, with different needs and I’m really from a kind of trainee community within the bigger EBMT community and enable us to collaborate with other parties and things within EBMT to try and show trainees have a voice. ”
– Claire Horgan
EBMT 2021 meeting trainee program & upcoming activities
“So I think really we want it to ensure that the presentations that came as part of this trainee session were really trainee-focused.(…)And I think one of the real benefits was using a source of case-based approach, enabling us to think whilst you’re listening to the presentation about cases we’ve been involved in and really providing practical guidance as well as useful tips for how to deal with these sorts of things.”
– Claire Horgan
“And this whole thing is we don’t exist on our own we exist with help from others. And that’s why this whole committee exists because we need other people to work together. But this committee itself has as an ideal to collaborate with every committee, with every person interested in guiding us or in helping us or giving us new information opportunities to go on.”
– Nico Gagelmann
Watch the full session
Nico Gagelmann: Hello. I’m Nico, Nico Gagelmann from Hamburg, Germany, and we welcome you all to the VJSessions, especially to VJHemOnc here on a trainee-specific session on roundtable from the EBMT Meeting 2021. I’m a first-year medical trainee and together with Claire and Yasmina, we organized the first trainee-specific session on the EBMT Virtual Meeting this year. And we would like to chat about our newly established EBMT training committee, our goals, our hopes, or the challenges we will face. And maybe at the end, we will talk about our personal highlights from a trainee standpoint. So I would first like to be introduced Claire.
Claire Horgan: I’m Claire Horgan, a pediatric hematology trainee currently based here in Birmingham, in the UK. And together with Nico, Yasmina, and a few others following on from work last year that we did as part of being young ambassadors, we really wanted to establish a platform for trainees to be able to establish themselves and have a voice within the EBMT network. And that’s really what we’re about, and we’ll chat a bit more about that, as well as our highlights from the congress last week.
Nico Gagelmann: Yasmina?
Claire Horgan: Yasmina?
Yasmina Serroukh: Hi everyone. My name is Yasmina Serroukh. I’m a Belgian hematologist. I’m currently based in Montreal, Canada for a two-year fellowship program in bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy with the objective of coming back to Europe to be an attending in the field of BMT and cellular therapy. Of course, I met recently virtually with colleagues, trainee-colleagues. We felt some common needs, some common objectives to improve our training and training of everyone in Europe in the field of BMT and cellular therapy and that’s why we got together and that’s how we plan to work as a group. So let’s chat about that today.
Nico Gagelmann: Maybe we’ll start because I think that this quite a funny moment. Let’s say that Yasmina, Claire and I, we haven’t met in person any time. So Yasmina, we met on Twitter, you just approached me and I said, “Let’s talk.” And basically, that’s how all things started when we all felt the need, although we don’t know each other, we all felt the need that something is lacking. And maybe we’ll start with that and talk about our first goals, how we came into forming a group and how we established the EBMT training committee and how we got to the EBMT meeting this year, and then let’s talk the future. So maybe Claire, do you want to start how it’s all started? What our goals were? Et cetera.
Claire Horgan: So I think together we all recognize that trainees come from very different backgrounds, work in very different centers and different countries with access to a different spectrum of resources. We’ve got trainees who have more experience in research, whereas are kind of new clinical setting and vice versa. And I think really we recognize that there’s so much out there now on the internet and things, but for trainees, particularly, it can all be a bit overwhelming, particularly coming into something as specialized as BMT and cellular therapy is. And we really wanted to provide resources targeted towards trainees that they could have available and work through, as well as providing support for trainees at all different levels, with different needs and I’m really from a kind of trainee community within the bigger EBMT community and enable us to collaborate with other parties and things within EBMT to try and show trainees have a voice.
Yasmina Serroukh: Absolutely. And if I may react on that and emphasize that, that’s what it’s all about networking and being a community. I think we noticed in the last few months that we were able to support each other and to help each other and being a group. And even if we started small, we are a small group, but we are, of course, growing, and being a group helps and makes everything possible. So I think this collaboration… That’s the purpose of our collaboration to get things done and get things done fast because we are very proud obviously, of having being able to provide a first session on this congress. So maybe Nico, you will talk a bit more about that and introduce that. But as a group, we realized we were able to do big things.
Nico Gagelmann: I think it’s a two-way street. So first, we all shared the same goals of feelings of lacking information. But on the other hand, if we want to realize something, you need collaboration. So everybody is talking and in COVID times is here, we all do something online, virtual, et cetera. But there is a difference between talking about networks, but really creating one is the hard part. But if you have structure, if you have people talking to each other about projects and working on something, then you can get fulfillment and to really realize things. And then the first big thing for us was really really important and really fruitful is that we established a trainee session in two weeks, just two weeks. I’m not a fan of being proud, but I think we can be proud of that.
Nico Gagelmann: And especially we need to thank all presenters because we first addressed two presenters from Jordan Gauthier from Seattle and Helene Schoemans who is already a part in the EBMT community to give us a talk on how they felt during their trainee times and what they think is really important for trainees. And we thought that this is quite an important thing to have that out there. Because if you are a trainee, you can only learn from somebody who went the whole street. So that was quite interesting that they quickly reacted and were really fond of doing that and gave in my view a really really great and really individual presentations. And the other thing that we also found out from the beginning is that if we want to have trainee-specific sessions, of course, we want to have sessions on transplant topics such as GvHD or transplant complications, which are the first situations in the clinic we will face as trainees. And maybe Claire, you will talk about the profile we thought would be ideal for that now and maybe for the future trainee sessions.
Claire Horgan: So I think really we want it to ensure that the presentations that came as part of this trainee session were really trainee-focused. Obviously, there’s loads out there on the latest research and the latest trials that have been done in GvHD but in terms of being a trainee on the ward, what do I need to know about GvHD or VOD that’s going to help me recognize when my patient may be developing one of these problems? And what am I going to do about it? And I think one of the real benefits was using a source of case-based approach, enabling us to think whilst you’re listening to the presentation about cases we’ve been involved in and really providing practical guidance as well as useful tips for how to deal with these sorts of things. That was really good.
Claire Horgan: I think the other presentations as well, so we had the two on the complications and the one from Professors Schoemans and Gauthier. They really recognized some of the struggles that trainees face going through the whole training process it can be quite overwhelming at times. And I think it was really useful to hear from people who’ve been through all those struggles, that guidance and practical tips for dealing with those sorts of things. And also letting people know there are lots of resources out there to help and actually often reaching out and trying to address these problems as they arise can be a positive thing moving forward.
Claire Horgan: I think certainly using the case-based approach, that’s something as a committee we’re looking to build on and we’re hoping over the next few weeks to months to set up a regular learning tool, we haven’t a hundred percent decided how we’re going to be delivering it yet. But we’ll be giving information on social media and perhaps having a case of the month. There are a couple of cases per month where actually we put out there cases that we may face in the clinic or working on the ward, whatever the setting might be and working through that and then enabling trainees to sort of discuss their views and what steps they might take to have that as an educational resource regularly.
Nico Gagelmann: And Yasmina, would you like to stress a bit our next approaches, which was already introduced by Claire on the E-learning platforms. Our goals we now have for the next few weeks or even days.
Yasmina Serroukh: Sure. You said we were proud and we are proud absolutely and happy because this first session was a success. We had very nice feedback from our fellow trainees and also from the speakers. I think that’s a bit of a proof for us, a proof of concept if I may say that this was needed because they really took the ball and they were very happy to share. And they said it was difficult for them to open up and to find the words to share that, but they were willing to do so. And they were really motivated about that. So we are proud and happy about this perception, which encourages us to go forward with the next steps. And the next steps are ambitious, as Claire mentioned, we aim to have a training-specific content in all the EBMT educational program. And it could be the way we see it, for now, would be modules with the basic knowledge to be a transplant doctor, to be active as a hematologist, as an oncologist in the field of bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy.
Yasmina Serroukh: And this includes the pediatric aspects. This includes some pharmacology. This includes collaboration with nurses. So it should be broad and inclusive and absolutely trainee-oriented. So we need the basics really what you need practically to do when you start. And of course, it doesn’t make the rest, less interesting. We still want to attend scientific presentations about last developments, but what’s the point in learning the latest developments, if you lack basic skills and knowledge. So that really where we are going to, and the way we see it now, it could be faster than we thought.
Nico Gagelmann: I think you made the key point is that all we do is also what Claire suggested is embedded. If you are a trainee, you’re not just a trainee, or a researcher, clinician, or when you’re first coming onto the ward, you first ask the nurse, how is the patient? How is he doing? How is he feeling? You ask the psychologist, whether there were any problems or how the social worker to organize the stay at home after the hospital stay, et cetera. And this list goes on and on and on. And this whole thing is we don’t exist on our own we exist with help from others. And that’s why this whole committee exists because we need other people to work together. But this committee itself has as an ideal to collaborate with every committee, with every person interested in guiding us or in helping us or giving us new information opportunities to go on.
Nico Gagelmann: And I think that’s the way to go now. It’s just going on and feel free to learn and to experience. But also obviously to work hard on that, because if you want to create something it’s a bit of work at the start. So I think with that, we just look forward to any new members and to anyone out there who is young, who has questions, and who has no idea where they could reach people or professors, et cetera. And if you have any hope for collaboration, just come to us, text us on Twitter as Yasmina did six months ago, and just come out and we speak to you and we collaborate with you obviously.
Claire Horgan: I think we’ve all been really excited by everything, particularly over the last couple of weeks, since we were able to properly establish ourselves and get word out that we actually, we exist now and we’re here for the trainees and already we have people reaching out to us, wanting to collaborate with us or wanting to be involved people from all different backgrounds. And I think that’s the thing that we will have been quite excited by and looking to try and build on as many things as possible, as quickly as we can to try and create this network.
Yasmina Serroukh: And this is probably also why our group worked so fast and so good are actually that it works between us is that we had that common belief and that common conviction, that collaboration was the center of any action that we should start. I fully agree with what you said, and I think this is the strength we have and we’ll build on that in the future.
Nico Gagelmann: I think with that, we can finish this new and first EBMT training session and VJSessions, VJHemOnc and we look for every new person who is interested in working with us or sharing his experience, even just that gives us opportunities to work on. So everybody is invited and let’s see how this year’s goes. So thank you very much and see you next year finally, at the EBMT 2022 in person, hopefully.