EFNS Spring School (former Academy)  
  Staré Splavy, Czech Republic 2010
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About this Academy

Final report, EFNS Academy for young neurologists, Staré Splavy, May 13 – 16, 2010

With its 11th course this year the EFNS Academy has entered the second decade of its annual runs. As in the years before, three neurological topics, profoundly explained and discussed in the bosom of green forests on the shore of the Macha’s lake. The atmosphere of our Academy has been again governed by separation of noisy metropolitan distractions, by quiet concentration of the participants to brilliant presentations of enthusiastic experts and by inquisitive discussions in the afternoon workshops. Outdoors only singing birds and surging of waterwaves on the beach accompanied walks of relaxing participants in the evening.

With such a background our Academy hosted this year 120 learners from 29 countries and 13 speakers from 4 additional ones. This year the general interest surpassed our capacity in the hotel so far, that we were forced to hand down 29 applicants to the next course. Traditionally the biggest part of the audience made Ukraine (19), Romania (18), Russia (13). Delightful was the appearance of new EFNS members, like Armenia with 7 participants. It was our pleasure to welcome 7 participants from the Mediterranean, namely 3 from Egypt, 2 from Syria and 2 from Tunisia.

The 3 main topics included Movement disorders, which has been our programme component every second year. The delegate from the Movement Disorders Society – European Section were David Grabli, Davide Martino and Evžen Růžička. All these excellent speakers have captivated the audience by their reviews based on well conceived videos. The second day with Autoimmune diseases was covered by Isabel Illa, Jan Verschuuren and Erich Schmutzhard. Again, our young neurologists were most satisfied by their both comprehensive and interesting performance. The third day programme consisted of various aspects of Spinal cord disorders. Zdeněk Kadaňka and Johann Sellner talked about the diagnostics and neuroradiological investigations, while Denis Kaech reviewed neurosurgical approaches and possibilities. The last morning session was devoted to WHO concerns in Neurology (Alena Šteflová), to the uneven coverage of neurological services in the world, its roots and perspectives (Pavel Kalvach) and to Educational systems in neurosciences (Martin Pospíšil). Johann Sellner with Martin Rakuša presented, on behalf of the EAYNT, practical educational opportunities for young neurologists.

Unlike in the previous years with a concert in church, this time the cultural programme was superbly presented by a Swiss band „Rollin‘ fifties“ after the dinner at Castle Mnichovo Hradiště. This band, led by our faculty member Denis Kaech, aroused our participants to high spirits and dance.

All participants expressed spontaneously their gratitude to the EFNS and also to our sponsor Lundbeck Institute for Neurosciences who have supported us by an unrestricted educational grant. The words of a Latin song with which we finished our course, were symbolic of the general sense of the course: „Neurologia, vis fanatica, fides firma semper lucet in nostra vita“.

Magda Dohnalova
Pavel Kalvach


Letters from the participants:

…it was a real pleasure to be with you the past couple of days in Staré Splavy. I enjoyed the interesting discussions, all the lectures, and in particular, the highly motivated questions by the young neurologists. Above all, I enjoyed your hospitality and I would like to thank you for this very much.
Again, it was a real pleasure to be in Staré Splavy,….

Erich Schmutzhard

….it was indeed my big pleasure and honour to take part in your yearly course, and I'm glad it was appreciated. I found it very stimulating, and I met a number of very nice and inspiring colleagues….
Davide Martino

… I was much impressed by the atmosphere of the course, not only a beautiful place, but also the spirit of unity, which you are, together with your young collaborators, giving to the whole event. I would say that for many of the participants this might be a decisive moment in which they finally recognized what an astonishing region of medicine they had joined!
Evžen Růžička

….I am so happy, that I was able to listen such interesting and useful lectures, to learn new information in Neurology, to get acquainted with professors and doctors from other countries….
Everything was organized excellently in the atmosphere of love, patience and kindness. …. I shall never forget the EFNS Academy for Young Neurologists.

Volha Zmachynskaya, Belarus

Thank you and the EFNS to give me the opportunity to be here in your Academy and share with you this wonderful meeting.
Mohammed A. G. El-Sherif, Egypt

It was a great experience It gave me a great opportunity to improve and clarify some aspect of neurology. I think the combination of morning theoretical lectures and afternoon cases discussion (interactive workshops) is the best way to get something new and improve some skills. It was very great.
Olexandr Kaľbus, Ukraine