Review of European MD/PhD Conference
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By Jennifer Kwan, University of Illinois at Chicago

Jennifer Kwan headshotJennifer Kwan, MD, PhD
Chair, Policy Committee

The European MD/PhD conference took place in Paris, France July 5-7 2013 at Paris Descartes University, with support from the host university and various French organizations. The conference featured prominent physician-scientist speakers in various disciplines from the United States and France, and brought together MD/PhD trainees across all training stages from 9 countries: Denmark, Netherlands, France, UK, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania and the United States. APSA was invited to represent the United States, and Jennifer Kwan, current Chair of the Policy Committee, gave a presentation on physician-scientist training in the United States, APSA initiatives geared toward physician-scientist career development, and highlights from the APSA Annual Meeting. Various training formats from different countries were presented, and there was considerable interest in pursuing training in the United States for residency and beyond.

Attendees had the opportunity to tour the prestigious French Academy of Medicine to observe the healthcare policymaking process in action in France. An advantage of being in Europe was the history of science and medicine that took place there. Specifically, in France, attendees were able to tour one of the oldest operational hospitals, the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, which celebrated its 400-year anniversary last year. They also visited the venues and grounds where the initial stages of vaccine development occurred, and where the study and characterization of neurological diseases were performed by Charcot and Babinski.

The meeting brought together discussion about science occurring both in North America and Europe, as well as about different healthcare systems with insights to be gleaned all around.

Follow-up from the meeting included discussion and excitement of surveying MD/PhD training mechanisms, funding, mentorship, etc., in each country and looking for ways to share good practices. A second initiative that arose from the meeting was the process of developing an online foreign research and clinical exchange resource. Stay tuned for more updates from this exciting new collaboration . . .