A long time ago, the idea developed of a pain course in English Language to foster young scientific researchers.
Gathering sponsorship funds is always a difficult mission, as the course should also be open to participants from less wealthy parts of Europe. The involvement of the companies Novartis, Sanofi, and Lilly allowed to have a certain financial support with the organization.
Numerous friends from all over the world were contacted and made aware of the offer through the extensive network that was built up over many years of work. Participants from our extensive yearly Pain Therapy course in Zurich also passed on the information, encouraging participants to join. The reactions were very positive and experienced pain therapists recommended younger, more talented colleagues to attend. More experienced doctors who were interested in further education also got wind of the 5-day offer.
Looking for suitable speakers was a pleasing and successful task: almost all of the professionals were prepared to accept a new challenge - to give their lectures in English – partly basing the content on the former pain training courses in German. It was not always easy to set a tight time frame, and competent therapists are understandably often booked out for a long time. Finally, a very interesting, highly instructive and varied program with well-experienced speakers could be proposed. A great strength of the course was the interdisciplinarity: 38 lessons were divided onto 29 lecturers. Among them were rheumatologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, anesthesiologists, internal medical doctors, lawyers, dentists, a clinical pharmacologist, a gynecologist and a pharmacist, a therapist in Mind Body Medicine, for the participants a truly challenging affair.
While the coordination issues were managed in the background, registrations came in gradually in the foreground. It was necessary to check the submitted papers for scholarship rights and, in some cases, to give a hand so that potential participants were allowed to leave their country for this course. The high goal of 26 registrations was reached – a certain hope and anxiety, whether they all really would appear on this sunny September 9th, 2019 in the magnificent Hotel Zürichberg, remained with the organizers. But they were quickly redeemed: 26 highly motivated people were more or less punctual on site. A colorful group of 13 nations (see chart), mostly young and dynamic, but also some more experienced participants joined together in this 5-day course.
Participants at EULAP Pain Course 9 -13 September 2019 in Hotel Zürichberg, Zurich
Rapidly, interesting and exciting exchanges took place and friendly discussions accompanied the course. The group dynamic was not only promoted by the common denominator "pain", but also through the hospitality of the Hotel Zürichberg. Through all its delicacies during the shared lunches and the treats during the coffee breaks, the location was a highlight, topped by 5 days of beautiful sunshine. Just imagine having a fluffy Capuccino on the terrasse at 25 degrees with the view on the dark blue Zurich lake during the break, before going back to a lovely chilled room with wooden floors and high ceilings and windows to attend excellent lectures. The unique location of the hotel with its overwhelming view over Zurich and its beautiful lake makes it understandable that even the parrot escaped from the zoo to join us for a coffee ! A spontaneous evening organized by Eli Alon in the beer hall Wolf in a very relaxed setting rounded off the social part perfectly.
The exceptionally good lectures based on the latest scientific research were received enthusiastically by the ladies and gentlemen; interesting, diversified questions were asked and the group proved to be extremely motivated, willing to learn and alert from start to finish. Since the focus was on multidisciplinarity, each and every lesson allowed the participants to get one step further in their understanding of the very complex subject. We sincerely thank all 29 lecturers - they deserve a lot of recognition. Now the organizers already take a quick look back at this course - they are very satisfied, the whole organization worked flawlessly and this year’s EULAP pain course can be considered a great success. One participant comments:
’This course has been an amazing experience. Having the chance to be taught by 30 highly qualified professionals, working in hospitals all over the world, giving us insights into many different aspects of pain therapies, has been a highly valuable experience. ‘
The course participants have now returned to their everyday lives, equipped with new knowledge, which they are now eager to implement. New friendships and an extensive networking across national borders have emerged. At the end the participants were able to receive a certificate in the best of spirits and all were extremely grateful for the great opportunity to attend this fulfilling offer.
Hand over of certificates at the end of the course. Prof. Alon and Anne Emringer from Luxemburg. In terms of evaluation, the expression "it could not have been better" dominated, what more could you ask for? Well, maybe a repeat ......
Anne Emringer, Luxemburg
Prof. Eli Alon and Anne Emringer
Eulap Pain Course 2019 "mascot"!