Fellows Corner

The Pandemic Doesn’t Stop SVIN: Members in Training Reception Highlights

For nearly 13 years, the leadership of the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology(SVIN) has brought together future, current, and former trainees  along with leaders of the Neurointerventional community every year to discuss issues pertinent to trainees and their development. After announcing the cancellation of the in-person meeting, SVIN quickly pivoted to provide the 2020 Annual Meeting conference in an online format with specialized content making it still possible for the tradition of SVIN’s Annual Meeting and Members in Training Reception(MITR) to continue- no plane ticket or hotel room required.

After years of navigating prior SVIN meetings towards the MITR along with friends and colleagues, virtual navigation to a virtual reception was definitely a new experience. After joining in, it was amazing to see the huge turnout! The virtual format was able to accommodate more people and it was a huge opportunity for medical student students, residents, and fellows. It was great to see many of the  staples from previous MITRs including Dr. Diogo Haussen, Dr. Ashutosh Jadhav and Dr. Ameer Hassan leading the discussions facilitating networking and mentorship.Despite the pandemic, participating in this long tradition of SVIN and seeing our society connecting globally was awe inspiring. 

Popular topics amongst medical students and residents interested in Neurointervention, included questions such as : “What is the timeline for applying?” “ What makes a competitive applicant?”and “Should I do a Neurocritical Care Fellowship or Vascular Neurology Fellowship prior to NIR fellowship?” Hearing from Dr. Priyank Khandelwal and Dr. Jawad Kirmani was extremely helpful for trainees. Several trainees voiced their appreciation and knowing that other applicants shared their similar concerns served to connect them.

For current Vascular Neurology, Neurocritical Care and Neurendovascular Fellows topics such as upcoming Visa requirements for fellowship, fellowship accreditation (ACGME vs CAST) and the current job market were addressed at length. Dr. Dileep Yavagal along with Junior Neuroendovascular Fellow, Dr. Vasu Saini, discussed changes in visa requirements and their experiences navigating these new constraints for many fellows. Currently the job market appears to be faring well for current senior Neuroendovascular fellows, despite the financial situation of many hospitals and change to virtual interviewing process.

A hot topic amongst all trainees was the impact of COVID-19 on education. It is no surprise that COVID-19 has significantly impacted all aspects of Neuroendovascular training. However, despite these challenges, it has compelled the adoption of innovative methods to maintain trainee productivity and continue trainee education safely. Some of these methods include: virtual webinars and didactic lectures, supplementing case volumes with simulator training, new workflows for procedures and call coverage, virtual conferences, and remote interviewing. Participants realized they were not alone in their questioning and concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Online meetings might lack many of the benefits of an in-person conference: conversations over dinner; face-to-face networking; fresh perspectives that can come from simply leaving one’s home ground. However, the virtual format democratized access of the MITR to trainees who otherwise would not have been able to attend the meeting in the first place. Hearing mentors discuss their journey, struggles and success during these unprecedented times helped trainees to ask great questions and encouraged everyone to actively engage. 

Thank you for participating in the SVIN Members in Training Reception!

“As a trainee, I cannot help but feel connected to something historic. In the midst of a pandemic, our commitment to scientific exchange, educational growth, and clinical advancement still ties us all together…virtually!” Shyam Majmundar Neurology Chief Resident Thomas Jefferson University