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Supporting the future generation of electrophysiologists – the EHRA Young EP Committee

EHRA 2018 Congress News

Celebrating its fifth birthday this year, the EHRA Young Electrophysiologists (Young EP) Committee was formed by the Association to provide the particular type of support needed to help younger members develop their careers. Here, founding member and now EHRA Young EP Committee Chair, Professor Valentina Kutyifa (Semmelweis University Heart Center, Budapest, Hungary & University of Rochester, Rochester, NY), explains why she thinks the work it does is essential to the development of the field of electrophysiology and describes the types of opportunities EHRA provides for young practitioners.

Arrhythmias and Device Therapy
Training and Education


kutyifa_valentina-2015.jpg“Electrophysiology is a rapidly changing field, with frequent advances in science and technology. Based on our vast experience, the members of the Young EP Committee are convinced that the more help an individual receives at an early stage of his or her career, the better it is for their development,” says Prof. Kutyifa. “Of course,” she continues, “this has a positive knock-on effect for electrophysiology as a whole. We all know that this is a challenging field and, at a practical level, often involves long hours spent in the EP lab. It is really important that we secure the progress of our profession by supporting our younger members.” The founding members of the committee initially identified a shortage of non-clinical professional education, fellowships and networking as being a major challenge and “EHRA stepped in to take on this role.”

“Through its Young EP Committee, EHRA provides a wide variety of activities to help early career electrophysiologists.”

“The EHRA congress truly provides a lot of events specifically aimed at young electrophysiologists. For example, as we saw on Sunday, the Young EP Clinical Case session gives four members the chance to talk about their challenging clinical cases and to compete for the Best Young EP Case, with a cash prize,” says Prof. Kutyifa. In dedicated Young EP poster sessions, there is live debate by the Young EP Committee of a selection of the posters and “everyone attending is invited to chat to peers and experts.” She goes on to say, “This year, for the first time, EHRA Young EP National Ambassadors had the opportunity to network at an informal event in the EHRA Members’ Lounge and there was positive feedback from those taking part.” Launched last year, the incredibly popular Speed Mentoring sessions returned to EHRA 2018 and repeated their success. “Offering one-to-one mentoring with some of the biggest names in electrophysiology, these sessions provide a unique opportunity for individuals to get personal advice on how to move forward with their career,” explains Prof. Kutyifa. “It won’t come as a surprise to learn that these sessions are extremely popular and because of this you need to apply in advance. Make sure you get your application in early!”

Outside of the annual congress, young electrophysiologists can get access to a host of educational resources on the EHRA website and can apply to the EHRA Fellowship Programme. In addition, EHRA runs the EHRA Young EP National Ambassadors programme, with 42 countries represented across ESC member countries, within the EU and beyond. “Each country has a national ambassador who is responsible for raising awareness of the EHRA Young EP programme and encouraging individuals to take advantage of the opportunities it offers, creating a global network,” says Prof. Kutyifa. “An annual summit, the EHRA Young EP National Ambassadors Summit, provides the ambassadors with education and non-professional skills training and facilitates the strengthening of relationships through networking and exchange of ideas.” As for the future, “We are working on international research programmes for young electrophysiologists and would also like to develop an exchange programme that enables them to develop connections with international peers for their mutual benefit,” Prof. Kutyifa comments.

Prof. Kutyifa thinks that being part of the Young EP Committee is extremely rewarding. “Early in my career, I was fortunate to have received generous support from world-renowned mentors and experienced peers, and it is my mission now, along with EHRA, to develop and foster a supportive environment for the new generation of electrophysiologists within Europe, as they move the field forward. The Young EP Committee is a trailblazer and, to my knowledge, the first society-supported committee of its kind. And this unique programme, bringing together young electrophysiologists to enhance and accelerate their early careers, really does make a difference. I would urge anyone interested in becoming a member to get in touch with us via the website. Take it from me, you won’t regret it.”

Prof. Kutyifa would like to dedicate her work with the EHRA Young EP Committee to her late mentor, colleague and dear friend, Dr. Arthur J. Moss, whose dedication to mentoring and selflessly advancing younger colleagues has been unparalleled and has contributed significantly to the advancement of cardiac electrophysiology.

 

For information on the EHRA Young EP programme, including details of how to join the community, visit the web section.