25 Jun 2019

Learning with the Experts - Liverpool Neuro ID Fellowship 2019

Learning with the Experts - Liverpool Neuro ID Fellowship 2019
Sofia Valdoleiros is a Portuguese medical resident in Infectious Diseases and from January until March 2019, caried out a clinical and academical internship in Neurology, with a primary focus in Neurological Infection, with the Liverpool Brain Infections Group (LBIG), under Professor Solomon, also with Dr. Benedict Michael and Dr. Christine Burness.
The academical module took place at the Institute of Infection and Global Health (IGH), where I was so well received and involved in the activities by everyone. Along with the academical work I developed, I got to participate in the Liverpool Brain Infections Group meetings, which included the discussion of major research projects, such as Enceph-UK, and UK-ChiMES, major programmes on adult and paediatric encephalitis. I even heard from Professor Solomon himself on “How to write a winning grant”! I was given the opportunity to attend international meetings of ground-breaking multicentre projects, such as Brain Infections Global and ZikaPLAN, and what an honour it was to be able to take part in these meetings and actually meet world leaders in Neurological Infectious Diseases research!
Exciting activities seem to be always happening, such as these meetings or Neuroscience Day or open discussions about neuroscience research. I was sad my internship ended before some other events took place, such as the Big Infection Day or the Neurological Infectious Diseases Course, but these sure were “replaced” by other activities, such as the e-learning Neuro ID Course or teaching sessions with Dr. Benedict Michael, who invested a lot of time in discussing fascinating Neuro ID cases with me. 
The clinical module took place at the Walton Centre and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. As a renowned neurosciences medical centre, at the Walton Centre it is possible to attend experts’ subspecialty Neurology Clinics, observe inpatients with neuro-infection and attend stimulating meetings, from Grand Rounds to Lectures from Neurology experts and teaching sessions, and MDT meetings such as Spinal Infection, Infection Control or Neuroradiology. At the Royal, I accompanied Dr. Burness, a Neurology consultant with a special interest in Neurological Infection, in observing referrals from the ID wards, and attended the Neuro ID Clinic, an innovative approach bringing together a Neurology consultant (specialized in Neurological Infection – Professor Solomon, Dr. Michael and Dr. Burness) and an ID consultant (Dr. Defres) in a multidisciplinary view of the patient. I was also given the opportunity to attend the Encephalitis MDT monthly meeting at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from these Neuro ID experts’ experience and for their valuable insights. It will certainly change my approach of the neuro infected patient in Portugal.
Overall, the major point I highlight is the amount of opportunities (to learn, to participate in) I was given in only 3 months. With so much and so interesting and versatile things to do, these 3 months just completely flew by. Thank you so much to everyone!
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