We remind fellow members, especially those in training and with an interest in research, about the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing. This is an international course, currently held twice yearly in Switzerland, with each participant having to attend four weeks in total. The aims are outlined below:
-improve knowledge and skills in geriatric medicine for junior faculty members or promising candidates for future teachers in geriatrics
· harmonise the attitudes and goals of future opinion leaders in geriatric medicine throughout Europe
· establish a network among medical doctors responsible for the care of elderly persons and those responsible for student instruction, as well as general physicians caring for the aged
· stimulate scientific interest in geriatric medicine
· to develop future leaders in the field of geriatric medicine
The format consists of intensive student participation in working groups, giving short presentations and leading discussions, as well as state-of-the-art lectures by experts in the field of geriatrics from all over the world.
The course was established seven years ago by a self-co-opted ad-hoc group of the European Professors of Medical Gerontology (Age & Ageing 1994; 23: 179-81) and is now based in the ‘Institut Kurt Bösch, Sion, Valais, Switzerland. The current executive board members are: Pr R Bernabei (Rome, Italy), Pr B Vellas (Toulouse, France), Pr N Thorsten (Ulm, Germany), Pr J-P Michel (Geneva, Switzerland), Pr H Stähelin (Basel, Switzerland), Pr C Swine (Yvoir, Belgium) Participants come from all over Europe as well as a few from the US and Brazil. Thus far there have only been two UK participants.
Recent sessions have included:
· Healthy Ageing: Usual or Successful? (January 1999)
· Frailty in Old Age : Diseases and Functional Consequences (June 1999)
· Drugs in the elderly : Clinical Approaches of Daily Problems (January 2000)
· Evidence based geriatrics versus individual based geriatrics (January, 2003)
· Prevention of age related disorders - from genes to new drug and technological interventions (June 2003)
There is a strong academic bias. The working atmosphere is relaxed but the workload is heavy – ‘work hard, play hard’ would sum up the course well. There are excellent opportunities to share experiences between European colleagues, which can provide for a rich source of discussion at times!
At the most recent meeting, the ‘young geriatricians of Europe’ (not chronological, rather reflecting function! i.e. training status) was crystallised. A collective of trainees have formed with the idea of promoting collaborative projects on a Europe wide basis. Our initial project is looking at the definition of a dying patient and comparing definitions trans-culturally.
We are devising a database which should record the backgrounds and research interests of individual trainees, allowing us to develop networks. Any members interested in subscribing to the ‘young geriatricians of Europe’ should contact Simon Conroy – email@example.com.
Finally, anyone interested in attending the EAMA should contact the course administrator – Verena Montani - firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful applicants will need to have demonstrated an interest in research and academic medicine as well as having the backing of their national body (i.e. BGS) and will need to be able to provide funding (currently £1000 per session). Places on the course are awarded on merit.