SFCNS - President's Letter
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Dear Colleagues and Friends

The year 2017 has passed so quickly that I am surprised to find myself writing this End of Year Message to you all already.

I would like to take the opportunity and thank all of you who have contributed to the further blossoming of our Federation, be that by direct intellectual and content contributions, or by supporting the overall organization, administration, and keeping the spirit high.

Furthermore, I would like to report on what has happened during this year, notably in all the task-forces, which have been created following our last congress in Basel in 2016:

All of them have regularly met and worked on their respective objectives. Thus, for example the task force on neuro-intensive care has looked into various international curricula in neurocritical care, in order to gradually develop a similar track in Switzerland. The common trunk task force under the guidance of Renaud Du Pasquier has come up with interesting propositions concerning the future organization of training in clinical neurosciences. They have teamed up with sections from the young clinical neuroscientists (task force headed by Arseny Sokolov) and they propose a light version for the gradual rapprochement of our specialties which would allow for a better recognition of clinical training years spent in Neurology, Neurosurgery or Neuroradiology. This might have strong implications on how we organize our training in the various specialties, and thus a detailed version of the proposition has already been discussed at the board meetings of the involved societies. The young clinicians have been very active through the participation in and contribution to all other task forces and they have connected through their own inaugural meeting.

They are also in discussion with the task force for the SFCNS-Summer school in order to evaluate the possibility to join forces for high profile educational meetings. Under the guidance of Claudio Bassetti and Anton Valavanis, our journal Clinical and Translational Neuroscience was successfully launched. The first edition was additionally published in a printed version, and an editorial board meeting in Interlaken has energized the submission process and the project as a whole. The summer school, initiated by Marcel Arnold, was held in Zurich on August 11/12, 2017, and has received extremely good ratings from the participants. In view of the so far very generous student-teacher ratio, which may be due to the fact that many potentially interested doctors were on vacation during that particular time, Marcel Arnold and his team are, together with the young clinicians, currently discussing as to whether a joint educational meeting shall be organized at a period of the year which convenes a larger number of people. Next year’s summer school is already being planned and I would like to encourage all colleagues to attend it in Bern on August 24/25, 2018. It provides high-end teaching and an excellent opportunity to connect with your peers.

Last but not least the brainstorming group for the congress on September 2019 has submitted very innovative and creative propositions in order to organize our next big meeting in Basel. The overall goal would be to have transversal plenary sessions with no parallel sessions being held at the same time, in order to have full attendance and undivided attention for important transversal topics. This shall be flanked by parallel sessions for our membership societies in between these plenary sessions. There will be new formats for poster and lunchtime presentations as well. All this has reached a stage where the representatives from all our member societies will be fully implicated in the further planning and decision-making process.

Altogether, I see with delight how all these task forces are moving forward. Things are coming together and this reflects the objectives of our federation.

There have been more joint activities: for example, there was unanimous support for an initiative of the Swiss Stroke Society, spearheaded by Patrick Michel, which should help to prevent political decision-makers from establishing potentially dangerous and scientifically inadequate evaluation parameters for the quality assessment of Stroke Units and Stroke Centers. Furthermore, we have met with Dr. med. Werner Bauer and his team from the SIWF in order to understand how we, as a main driver of clinical neurosciences in Switzerland, may be of assistance in the creation of a FMH-accredited title of board-certified neuroradiologists in Switzerland. We are in touch with the various sub-specialties in order to establish solid criteria for the so-called registers, which will be obligatory for most specialties in the near future.

Of course, you all are cordially invited to join one of the task-forces to contribute personally. Your creative input is needed in many respects, so that we can further advance towards our common objectives and take our federation to another level and also to more political visibility.

Once again, I would like to thank all those who have actively contributed to the SFCNS throughout the past year and I wish you all a peaceful and regenerative end of the year 2017.

I look forward to seeing you all in good shape on the various next occasions and remain with my warmest regards from Geneva.

Prof. Dr. med. Karl Schaller

Swiss Federation of Clinical Neuro-Societies SFCNS
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