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Fellowships 2019

The RIMS Board has selected 2 applications for the Fellowship Exchange Programme. Congratulations to Dr. Gogem Topcu (UK), Research Fellow and Trainee Health Psychologist and Verónica Gemma García Martí (ES), PhD student, Physiotherapist! Verónica will visit the Alon Kalron research's group of the Tel Aviv University, Dr. Topcu will explore the MS Center in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam University Medical Center.

Gogem Topcu (United Kingdom)

participated in the RIMS Fellowship exchange programme. Visited the MS Centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands from October 14th to October 18th in 2019.
Below you can find some feedback:

Positive aspects during the stay at the centre:

  • The MS Centre Amsterdam team prepared an excellent and fruitful programme for my one-week visit. I have had the opportunity for networking and to build upon my professional and research skills. There were a series of presentations and consultation sessions focused on rehabilitation, where I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the ongoing studies and clinical services provided at the Centre. During these consultation sessions, I was also able to share my expertise in qualitative methodologies with the wider team. I have also had the opportunity to give a lecture on meta-synthesis and presented some of our ongoing projects in Nottingham.
  • One of the aims of my visit was to work together with a group of researchers at the MS Amsterdam Centre to produce a protocol for a meta-synthesis to systematically review the qualitative literature around needs and experiences of people with advanced MS. We had several productive Work Sessions where we have drafted a research protocol together as a result. We will continue working together in this exciting project.
  • I have also had the opportunity to visit their Cognitive Outpatient Clinic and learnt about the systems they have in place for cognitive screening and rehabilitation for people with MS, and about their ongoing trials within this area. I found this very useful as I have a particular interest in cognition in MS, and I work as the Programme Manager for the £1.85m NEuRoMS project (Neurological evaluation and rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis - Chief Investigator: Prof Roshan das Nair). I have already fed back what I learnt during my visit to our NEuRoMS team. We hope to continue exchanging information and ideas between our centres, and possibly collaborate in the future.
  • I have also visited Nieuw Unicum where they offer professional support to people with advanced conditions or disabilities. This was a unique experience for me as I have never been to a place like this before. It was very interesting to see their organisation and infrastructure in general, as well as the different approaches they use in practice.
  • Overall, it was a very positive and productive experience, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and for the MS Centre Amsterdam for hosting.

Negative aspects during the stay at the centre:

I had no negative experiences during my visit. Only negative aspect was the limited amount of time. I feel that I could have gained more if I had the chance to stay a little longer.

Any other comments on the visit?

I would like to thank to the MS Centre Amsterdam team for hosting and organising such a fruitful programme for me. And a huge thanks to the RIMS for giving me this opportunity. I have enjoyed every second of my visit – learnt a lot and met wonderful people.

Did you achieve the goal expected?

Yes

Could you recommend the centre?

Yes

General evaluation of the stay:

Excellent

Veronica Gemma Garcia Marti (Spain)

participated in the RIMS Fellowship exchange programme. Visited the Sheba medical centre, Tel Aviv, Israel from January 10th to October 16th in 2020.
Below you can find some feedback:

Academic assessment:

Excellent

Personal assessment:

Excellent

Positive aspects during the stay at the centre:

I had a really full schedule where I could visit the all different areas and specialities such as: Multiple sclerosis, hydrotherapy, ambulatory rehabilitation, occupational therapy, orthopaedic rehabilitation, Traumatic Brain Injury rehabilitation, Parkinson’s rehabilitation, Pain ambulatory rehabilitation, dog therapy, Respiratory rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation, and of course the advanced technologies centre, which was an amazing experience to see how it works with different kind of patients and also try it myself!

I learnt a lot of the different professionals in the different specialities, they were really kind and show me many different treatments. I could also discuss about some treatments confronting opinions.

Furthermore, I was lucky to coincide with another PhD student, Tuba, which obviously enriched my visit even more.

Negative aspects during the stay at the centre:

Actually nothing

Any other comments on the visit?

I should thank Hadar Sharon, the physiotherapist who managed to make such a complete schedule, which is a really hard work, to Alon Kalron, for open me the doors of Sheba Medical Centre, and Finally to RIMS to give me this opportunity.

Did you achieve the goal expected?

Yes

Could you recommend the centre?

Yes

General evaluation of the stay:

Excellent

Any suggestions on how to improve the functioning of the RIMS Fellowship Exchange Program (RFEP)?/h4>

Not at all.

For the second deadline (December 2019) the RIMS Board has selected 3 applications for the Fellowship Exchange Programme. Aleksandra Pabian (Coordinator of occupational Therapy  at John Paul II Ms Rehabilitation Center in Borne Sulinowo), Sarah Delva and Gaëlle Vertriest, both from the MS Center in Melsbroek (Belgium), shared their fellowship and went to the MS Center in Hakadal (Norway). Read all about their experiences below.

Aleksandra Pabian (Poland)

participated in the RIMS Fellowship exchange programme. Visited Cem- Cat in Barcelona, Spain from June 3th to June 7th in 2019.
Below you can find some feedback:

Academic assessment:

Excellent

Personal assessment:

Excellent

Positive aspects during the stay at the centre:

During the stay at Cem Cat I discovered a lot of positive aspects. I could see how the center is working and how therapists work with MS Patients on occupational therapy. I could change my experiences about OT. I think I will use several elements of therapy in our center. I saw a lot of interesting methods of therapy which is different than in our center. We have estabilished cooperation about exchanging information about tools used for neurological rehabilitation.

Negative aspects during the stay at the centre:

Everything was ok!

Any other comments on the visit?

The entire team was very helpful and kind. They answer on all my questions. I think that fellowship programme is great way to explore and change our experiences. Its very good idea to prevent burnout. After fellowship programme I feel new energy to work and more creative in work.

Did you achieve the goal expected?

Yes

Could you recommend the centre?

Yes

General evaluation of the stay:

Excellent

Any suggestions on how to improve the functioning of the RIMS Fellowship Exchange Program (RFEP)?

/

Delva Sarah & Vertriest Gaelle (Belgium)

participated in the RIMS Fellowship exchange programme. Visited the MS Senteret in Hakadal, Norway from January 24th to January 28th in 2020.
Below you can find some feedback:

Academic assessment:

Excellent

Personal assessment:

Excellent

Positive aspects during the stay at the centre:

  • Everyone took time for us, showed interest; therefore it was possible to have contact with everybody.
  • Everyday there were questions and discussions with everyone
  • We were able to follow all therapies and experience everything as patients.

Negative aspects during the stay at the centre:

The timing was unfortunate since there were many sick in the staff of the physiotherapy department.
We do not blame the centre about it!

Any other comments on the visit?

We would like to thank you, that you gave us the opportunity to be able to go and visit the MS Centre!

Did you achieve the goal expected?

Yes

We got a good overview of the centre, specifically the physiotherapy part and internal collaboration.

Could you recommend the centre?

Yes

It is a specialized centre with very motivated people in a close-knit team. It is a pleasant healthy working environment, familiar, close to nature, and therapists get the possibility to stay up to date with research. You feel that as a patient you are in good hands.

General evaluation of the stay:

Excellent

During our stay everyone was very welcoming and helpful. At noon, we could join the buffet for a healthy and tasty lunch with the rest of the staff in the refectory. The centre was easily accessible by bus, and some days we even got a lift from the therapists! At the end of our stay we received a nice farewell gift.

Any suggestions on how to improve the functioning of the RIMS Fellowship Exchange Program (RFEP)?

Everything is clear, there was good contact and flexible for our dates to go to the centre.

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