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Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The 1st East European Networking Congress for Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology was held at Rīga Stradiņš University on 26-27 April. It gathered around 200 participants from 18 European countries.

During the congress several scientific sessions and meetings took place on improving training programmes to make the quality of women's healthcare equal throughout Europe. A training module was developed in 2018 under the auspices of the European Board and College for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (EBCOG) which was presented to conference participants. This module ensures that every European resident’s residency training provides them with the minimum scope of skills and knowledge. In addition to these skills the knowledge of the doctors acting as tutors also matters – TTT (Train the Tutors) courses were, therefore, an essential part of the congress. These courses were attended by 12 specialists from Latvia and Lithuania who train residents on a daily basis and were chaired by EBCOG representatives and leading field specialists in Europe: Dr Angelique Goverde (EBCOG Chair of Standing Committee for Training Assessment), Prof. Rūta Nadišauskienė (EBCOG TTT Officer) and Dr Karen Rose (EBCOG Board Member of Northern Region, Coordinator of Educational Activities). Other participants of the event were Prof. Juriy Wladimiroff (EBCOG Chair of Standing Committee for Training Recognition), Prof. Andrii Tkachenko (EBCOG Board Member of Eastern Region), Dr Jure Klanjšček (ENTOG Board Member), Dr Vladimír Dvořák (ENTOG Board Member), and Assist. Prof. Roman Kapustin (WATOG – World Association of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice-president).

The Golden Mirror Olympiad was held on the second day of the event which is the first international student Olympiad in gynaecology and obstetrics. Several high-quality masterclasses for residents were also organised during the congress: a laparoscopy masterclass (mentors: Dr Jurģis Vītols, Dr Antons Babuškins, Dr Jure Klanscjek, Dr Vladimír Dvořák), the basics of colposcopy (chair Dr. med. Jana Žodžika), the basics of ultrasound (chair: Dr Dace Matule in collaboration with Arbor Medical Corporation), how to stop postpartum haemorrhaging (mentors: Dr Anna Miskova, Sabina Sozanni, Sabīne Zamberga in collaboration with Arbor Medical Corporation) and a masterclass on safe vacuum extraction (mentors: Belinda Vacca, Phil Wharton and Dr Małgorzata Radoń from Vacca Academy).

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This event is the continuation of a five-year-long tradition of general meetings of Baltic students’ scientific interest groups. Students have already achieved their goal of becoming residents, yet the willingness to improve and to exchange experiences has remained, which is why the idea of organising such an event came up. When I first voiced this idea during a meeting of the European Network of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ENTOG) representatives from Ukraine and Poland said that they would like to join. ENTOG also showed support so this year the scale of the event grew from a Baltic to an Eastern European level. I am genuinely happy that we received support from Prof. Dace Rezeberga, our Head of Department, Jana Žodžika, the Head of the residency programme, Dr Vija Veisa, the President of the Latvian Association of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians, and group mentors Dr Ināra Miltiņa and Assist. Prof. Anna Miskova. The event turned out great even though the team of organisers were residents and students and did not receive any assistance from professional event organisers!

Dr. Elizabete Pumpure

The congress is real team effort of future gynaecologists and obstetricians and has received many words of praise from both attendees as well as representatives of international organisations who visited Riga during this time. A couple of days before the congress seven residents from Lithuania, Poland, Belgium, Romania and Turkey had the opportunity to observe the work of our specialists at various hospitals and clinics in Riga as part of a short-term exchange. The foreign residents were welcomed by local residents establishing new friendships and opening doors to acquiring skills in other countries. The visiting residents were positive about what they experienced at the clinics and about our residents, as well as extended the opportunity to visit their training bases in return. Since the Rīga Stradiņš University Gynaecologist/Obstetrician residency programme is accredited by EBCOG our future specialists have the opportunity to undergo internship at various established training centres as part of their residency programme. Contacts with other residents, like the ones established during this congress, make these opportunities very realistic.

‘We have received excellent feedback and are very glad that the event could take place at Rīga Stradiņš University. The university has been evaluated as a very modern and student-friendly infrastructure by our international guests. We definitely want to continue the event and we are currently planning to organise it once every two years in various Eastern European countries. At the moment Poland, Lithuania and Estonia have applied to organise the 2021 congress, which we are happy about, because that means that both the purpose of and necessity for the congress have been appreciated,’ continues Elizabete.

The following RSU students and residents were involved in organising the event — Dr Anita Ungure, medical students Zane Rostoka, Ieva Pitkēviča, Irina Morozova, Ulrika Ulla Andersone, Krista Krūmiņa, Dr Jeļizaveta Murzina, Dr Zane Ozolniece, Dr Līva Ušpele, Dr Maija Koka, Dr Laura Rācene, and Dr Gita Jansone. Dr Elīna Gelderiņa, a resident from the University of Latvia, assisted. The team was managed by Dr Elizabete Pumpure, a 2nd year resident of the RSU Faculty of Continuing Education.

The event would not have been possible without the support of Rīga Stradiņš University, as well as the Latvian Association of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians. We would like to thank Riga Maternity Hospital, Riga East Clinical University Hospital, Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital and SIA MyClinic Riga for their openness in welcoming the visiting residents. We would also like to thank the companies that have financially supported the opportunity for residents and students to attend the event at a relatively low cost: Arbor Medical, Bayer, Gedeon Richter, Onkoklīnika, Veselības centru apvienība (Health Centre Association), MFD Healthcare Group, Bionorica and Tērvete.