EFPT representatives for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry present at ESCAP Vienna

“The field is full of opportunities, we need to make the best of these”

The European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) consists of active working groups, one being the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) working group. ESCAP is pleased to announce that the EFPT CAP working group representatives will be present in Vienna, equipped to give all those attending the meeting information about exactly who they are, what they do and the opportunities they offer for psychiatry trainees. Here, we speak with Dr. Asilay Seker, a 2nd year CAP in training from Turkey, and the CAP working group chair and the CAP Secretary for EFPT. With her contagious enthusiasm for all things CAP, she’ll have you signing up for projects quicker than you can say EFPT!
 
Firstly, just explain to us about the EFPT? 
“The EFPT was first established in 1992. Similar to ESCAP, rather than having individual members, their members are from country-specific trainee associations for psychiatry. A more formal approach. Collaboration with these country-specific associations is key to the federation’s success; to roll out events, guidelines, advice, and generally support psychiatrists in training. We have the usual structure of an executive board fortunately including a CAP secretary’’.
“EFPT regularly collaborates with the European Psychiatric Association, the World Psychiatric AssociationUEMS, and ECNP is a generous partner. We are also occasionally present in overseas psychiatric conferences such as APA meetings. As for CAP associations, we have close relations with UEMS-CAP and we are also looking for more collaboration with other important international CAP societies on a more regular basis, and this is something we want to work on this year and in the coming ones”. 
 
What are the aims and objectives of the CAP working group?
“Our main aim is to promote the EFPT within CAP trainees and promote CAP within the EFPT. We want to help CAP trainees be more visible and active in the psychiatric trainee community”. 
“Another mission is to keep our working group running by continuing our ongoing projects; with the support of the UEMS-CAP, we host a CAP Day where we have distinguished CAP lecturers during the annual forums, we also do surveys, research projects, we gather members for posters or symposium proposals before congresses, and some other interesting activities such as a CAP video project (visit our webpage for more info.), all in order to promote CAP trainees and help them satisfy their interests”. Looking up to the EFPT in general, in respects to their active collaborations with worldwide psychiatric associations, the CAP working group is aware that more needs to be done to set up similar connections, Asilay states “more active collaborations with major CAP societies like IACAPAP, ESCAP, and with national or local CAP associations is key to our growth, it’s what we need to improve. As mentioned before, we regularly collaborate with the UEMS-CAP, and the EFPT CAP representatives attend their meetings, we really appreciate their ongoing support and we wish to have similar partnerships with other CAP associations. To improve, we need a networking structure of CAP trainees, then we can collaborate more with each other and partner associations and disseminate information more effectively. We hope that setting up more collaborations, for example, with ESCAP can hopefully help with this. We need to organise more as CAP trainees, and I see the ESCAP Vienna collaboration as a step forward to that”.
 
Tell us more about your working projects
“As well as the psychopharmacology survey and CAP video project that are currently running, we are trying to look into the psychotherapy training situation within the CAP training and also designing another research project about the rotation circumstances for the general adult psychiatric trainees in CAP services and vice versa. We plan to kickstart the latter two in 2019”. The positive but perhaps also challenging aspect of the working group is that people are free to join the group as they feel and at the same time walk away when they feel. “You may ask, how do we keep the working group active?” states Asilay. “Well, most importantly we have regular online meetings where we check how projects are going and discuss the working group matters, we try to allocate certain projects to interested and proactive members, we feel that the group we have still achieve our objectives on our projects, but we’re always looking for more members keen to take on projects”.
 
What do you hope by having a presence at ESCAP Vienna?
ESCAP has given a stand space for EFPT to have a presence at the congress. This is something that the EFPT do each year at the EPA conference. “By having this stand, we want to let people know that we exist. We will have information at the stand about the working group and EFPT as a whole. We have a google group for the CAP working group, so people will be very welcome to sign-up in order for them to get involved with our projects. We will also use this opportunity of being in Vienna and having several members present at the meeting to have dinner and discuss our future projects with other participating trainees”. 
 
What do you feel are key skills and essential training for CAP trainees?
“There are so many things but if I were to select some key ones it would be to have a thorough knowledge of the tailored psychopharmacotherapy for children, this is a big issue. There are many books on the subject but few on paediatric psychopharmacology. Obviously, psychotherapy should be integrated more routinely into the curriculum. In addition, professional skills such as presentation skills, communication skills, how to initiate and design research projects, I don’t think there are many courses tailored for CAP trainees on these subjects, yet they are essential. Lastly, organisation within trainees. What I mean by this is that these CAP groups exist within associations but, how they function and how well they operate is a little blurry. I feel that we can get inspired by the patterns of trainee committees under many general psychiatric associations to set up more robust and effective structures for our CAP trainee organisations. It is about having more motivated and enthusiastic CAP trainees to stand up and start initiating projects. The field is full of opportunities and I feel that we need to learn how to make the best of these”. 
“Since announcing that we will have a stand at the ESCAP Vienna congress several fellow trainees asked me, what is ESCAP? So, I believe that this collaboration can help ESCAP be seen as being more active in the trainee community. I hope it will be mutually advantageous. Young psychiatrists and trainees can also help associations like ESCAP, and we aim for this in the future”. EFPT has very active emailing lists and social media accounts and is very happy to promote ESCAP activities on these platforms.
 
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