SFCNS - President's Letter
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Dear Colleagues and Friends

These pre-summer lines just are to give you a brief update on what happened during the past months in regard to our federation.

Overall, we have made quite some progress and probably more than what has come to your notion if you are not a member of our delegates’ assembly or of the SFCNS board.

As you might recall we have formed several task forces, which are active in a variety of fields from teaching to neuro-politics and on behalf of the SFCNS. The YouCliN is a very active task force and as such it has connected with other “junior” neuro-organisations such as the young Swiss neurosurgeons (SYNS). Furthermore, the young task force has social media channels on Facebook and Twitter, and they have worked a lot on their current website. The YouCliN have proved to be a true bottom-up energizer for our federation, and that’s why the board and the delegates of the SFCNS have decided to provide them with a permanent seat on our board. Internally, the YouCliN will get organized in order to have the delegate to the board changed in synchrony with the rest of the board. One article about the SFCNS, spearheaded by Arseny Sokolov, has been accepted for publication in the Lancet Neurology journal!

Werner Z’Graggen and his team have been working on a dedicated curriculum for those of us who are interested in neurocritical care. They have come up with a dedicated course programme, which is covering all aspects of current neurocritical care medicine, and which will allow i.e. the department heads to have people who are interested in neurocritical care to attend courses, which will be run by experts in the field. This is the first neurocritical care curriculum of its kind in Switzerland, and it will serve as a basis for future extension towards a more comprehensive training programme.

Our journal, the Clinical and Translational Neuroscience (CTN), which has been launched by Claudio Bassetti (Editor-in-chief) in September 2017, and is supported by all of us, proves to be successful: Up to date, more than 50 manuscripts have been submitted and there is a continuous increase of online hits as a measure of its relevance in the field. Of course, this is just an intermediate evaluation and it is planned that the journal should be self-funded in the future. It is very encouraging, however, how the journal progresses, and we should all support the journal and Claudio Bassetti, either by personal collaboration, or by sending in scientific reports or other articles related to our activities. Read the online journal here.

Another task force is concerned with the so-called “common trunk” of clinical neurosciences which relates to the training of our future colleagues. This is a very complex issue, as we have realized ourselves, because it would require an entire change of mind-set, in the sense that in the future there could be doctors in the neuro-field as a whole, and among them there might be those who are more active in the diagnostic sector and others who are more active in the invasive or in the interventional field. Furthermore, such a strong version of the common trunk would require full integration of neuroradiology into the planning of training. This would probably represent the biggest hurdle in our Swiss hospitals.
Thus, it is foreseen to submit a proposition, which will allow for easier recognition and rotation of our trainees, which should be further facilitated by the creation of local role models in our larger hospital centers. Thereby such a model might gradually trickle in the minds of people.

Concerning full training and the establishment of a FMH title in Neuroradiology, we had various discussions and even meetings with the responsible persons from the SIWF. And, despite not having succeeded so far, we are in a constant dialogue with the various players, and we and the Swiss Society of Neuroradiology are determined to submit a more mature version of our demand to the respective federal medical boards in the immediate future. We won’t give up on that very central matter!

Philippe Lyrer and his group are about to revise the quality criteria and the numbers for the Certification of our Swiss Stroke Centers and Stroke Units, and it is just a question of time until all those centers and units are established with the respective neurological expertise for the sake of our patient's safety.

The SFCNS Summer School will take place in the fourth week of August (24/25) 2018 and will be organized by Marcel Arnold and Rebekka Kurmann. It will provide high quality teaching, this year mainly in the field of sleep and epilepsy. Unfortunately, we are still lacking a sufficient number of participants so as to justify all efforts and the big number of faculty involved. You are all encouraged to invite interested colleagues to attend.

Another delightful story concerns the fact that after years of negotiations and pre-preparations, Christoph Stippich and his working group have come up with an extensive curriculum for a SFCNS imaging course, the (long-awaited) MRI reading course for neurologists and neurosurgeons. It will take place for the first time on the Saturday, following our next SFCNS Congress in October 2019 in Lausanne.

The SFCNS Congress 2019 will be entirely restructured. A whole group of experienced SFCNS-members, as well as members from the young generation have come up with propositions on how to make such a congress not only more instructive, but also a more interesting event and at the same time more adapted to a more modern style. We are curious to see it happen in 2019, with Karl-Olof Lövblad presiding the scientific committee. Website of the congress.

On the board and among the delegates we had intense discussions on image campaigning on behalf of the SFCNS. This is happening so far with neurosciences as the junior partner of the Schweizerische Herzstiftung, the latter of which is even running campaigns on the prevention of cerebral strokes. Here, we are very grateful to the Herzstiftung, because our own budget would not allow us to carry out such projects. On the other hand, it is our clear goal to obtain enough funding in the future in order to run our primary neuro-campaigns by ourselves.

Furthermore, we may be re-embarking on the so-called European Brain Council, following a discussion with the Swiss Society of Neurosciences. This, however, is still very preliminary, and no major decision will be taken without having reassured us amongst all our member societies, that is – you.

I hope, this brief update on what happened and what is occurring on behalf of and in the context of the SFCNS answers some potential questions from your side. Of course, you may also contact me directly, should you wish so.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon. I wish you a very good delightful summer. And please do not forget our Summer School in 2018!

Sincerely Yours

Prof. Dr. med. Karl Schaller

Swiss Federation of Clinical Neuro-Societies SFCNS
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