Bern, November 2017

Dear SMPA members, dear friends of the SMPA,

In the past two years, the SMPA has continued to grow successfully, with a current member number  now over 200. New and motivated members have joined the SMPA board, enabling us to continue our activities with a grown work force.

Since 2015, the SMPA has taken over the responsibility to organize national MD PhD meetings, as the Swiss Academy of National Science (SAMW) decided not further pursue this task. Last year, the 14th SMPA National MD PhD Meeting took place at the University of Geneva (Fri, October 21th 2016) with a program called “MD-PhD: clinicians with a researcher’s mind” and academic key-note speakers from the University of Geneva: Prof. Giulio Gabbiani, Prof. Pierre-Yves Dietrich and Dr. Frederic Lador as well as workshops with Dr Camille Nemitz (University of Geneva) and Dr Roch Ogier (Novartis). The participation of the students was as always encouraged and we introduced a new concept, a slam jam session, during which the participants have 3 minutes to present their research subject without the support of a power point presentation.

 The 15th national meeting was organized in collaboration with the European MD-PhD association (EMPA) at the campus of the University of Basel with the title “Everything on Ageing”. Key-note speakers were Dr. Astrid Stuckelberger (University of Geneva), Dr. Ewald Collins (ETH Zurich) and Dr. Liesbeth Veenhoff (University of Groningen). Profs Jürg Schifferli, Alexander Kiss, Ludwig Kappos and Dr. Freddy Nguyen debated the question of an age limit for researchers during a round table discussion, and again the students had the opportunity to participate actively with poster presentations, giving talks and a science slam session.

Our Facebook and LinkedIn pages have been actualized and are now managed by Alexander Haumer.

On the international level, the SMPA has intensified its contacts to the European MD PhD community, with our second secretary Friederike Schulze and our social media responsible Alexander Haumer represented in the EMPA board.

Additionally, the board has ongoing projects with the American Physician Scientist's Association (APSA). We are preparing a joint publication with the data of the SMPA-APSA MD PhD survey. One SMPA members (Paulino Tallón de Lara) participated at the last Annual APSA conference in Chicago.

Among future goals, the SMPA will continue to advocate for the recognition of at least one year of MD PhD studies for the all FMH specializations. With the help of the SAMW, 41 of 46 FMH specialization programs have so far implemented this regulation. For the future, we plan to initiate further negotiations until the goal is reached. We also would like to build a partnership with the Swiss Association for Residents and Clinic Chiefs (VSAO/ASMAC) to advocate for more flexible work models to combine clinical work, research and family duties.

Dear members, the SMPA is also a platform for you if you are perusing an issue and would need support.


Best wishes,
Laurence Feldmeyer
In the name of the SMPA board

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