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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. Dr. Topcu visited the MS Centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands from October 14 to October 18 in 2019. Below you can find some feedback from Dr. Topcu:

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

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