The meeting was held a day before the joint PRES/EULAR congress, on 11th of June at 1pm, and until 12pm on 12th of June.
The YIM community is growing, and for the first time at YIM 2019, we had young allied health professionals at the meeting. Here is the experience of Victoria, Paediatric Physiotherapist from Great North Children's Hospital in the UK.
"This spring I was lucky enough to attend my first European conference and attend the EULAR congress in Madrid, where together with another paediatric physiotherapist, Verna, I had a poster accepted. I knew very little about what to expect- I was aware that PReS had joined forces with EULAR for congress this year, and that it was going to be a big event, but I didn’t know much else. So when one of the consultants asked me if I had submitted my abstract for the Young Investigators Meeting that was taking place before the main congress I must admit I had no idea what he was talking about! I had a look online, liked the sound of it and thought that as I was going anyway it was worth submitting to. And quite honestly, that was the last I thought about it.
Fast forward a few months and there I was, heading out to Madrid, on my own, to an even that seemed very exciting, but at which I didn’t really know anyone. As a health professional that enjoys clinical research I’m used to being in the minority. I’m still very early in my career but am no stranger to the challenges that come with being a health professional, working in paediatrics, that wants to do research. However, I am passionate in my belief that we as a professional group have a lot to add to the clinical academic world, and am always trying to look for new opportunities to learn and meet like-minded people, as well as to slowly try to make it more normal for health professionals to be a part of the research world. So, with all that in mind it came as no surprise to be the only health professional part of the group.
For those that haven’t attended the YIM it is a fairly simple concept. Early career researchers are given the opportunity to submit an abstract and attend a meeting before the main congress. It’s a subsidised event, that includes accommodation and food, and is made up of oral abstracts and posters presented as part of a series of poster tours. There are senior researchers present to help attendees with constructive advice around their research, as well as the opportunity to network with those at a similar point in their career from all round Europe and beyond. In the evening there is a networking dinner, and then following some more presentations the next day transport is proved to the main congress. I had a poster accepted, that allowed me to share the work that the allied health group in the UK had been doing to collate a core outcome set to be used by health professionals with children with rheumatological conditions. I enjoyed presenting my poster to the group, and the feedback that I received was extremely useful for the ongoing work in this area."
The aspect of the YIM that I particularly enjoyed was the chance to speak with other early career researchers. Conferences are always a great place to share learning, both formally in sessions and informally. European conferences can feel so busy its not always easy to speak to new people from different countries, but the YIM was smaller and so that was much easier to do. It was great to exchange ideas and information on clinical and research ideas with so many different people in an environment that is friendly and encouraging. I learnt a lot and had a great time. I would definitely recommend the YIM to any early career researcher, even for those just starting out, and would really love to see more health professionals joining me in the future.