EURETINA Mentorship Programme 2023/2024

Strengthening the programme through participant feedback

The Euretina Mentorship programme is welcoming its third group of mentees as the Euretina Congress gets underway in Amsterdam. Designed as a 1-year programme to run from Congress to Congress, the programme aims to educate the wider ophthalmic community by supporting the professional development of promising retina specialists and mentoring them early in their careers.

Mentees selected for the 2022/2023 programme are thought to have benefited from the opportunity to meet with the Year 1 mentees and all of the mentors at the outset of the yearlong programme. They assembled in a joint workshop held at the 2022 Hamburg Euretina Congress, said Emma Hester, Programme Manager. “Because the Mentorship’s Year 1 programme launched in 2021 during the pandemic, the first participants had very little opportunity for travel and in-person meetings. The idea for holding an initial joint workshop, which came as a suggestion from a Year 1 mentee, certainly gave incoming mentees a better introduction to the programme,” said Ms Hester.

Feedback from Year 1 mentees also resulted in other changes and additions designed to improve the programme. They included two new workshops – a “Communications Skills” session hosted by Stark & Partners and a “Social Media” workshop led by Dr Rajesh Rao that focused on how clinicians can apply and benefit from integrating social media into their practice.

The mentorship programme fosters professional development by offering organised career development skills courses, networking opportunities, and personal one-on-one sessions between mentor and mentee. Mentees also enjoy several financial perks during the term of their participation that include coverage of the registration fees for the annual Euretina Congress and the Winter meeting, accommodations and travel expenses (up to €1,000) for attending those meetings, accommodation and travel expenses for mentor visits (held at the discretion of the mentor), and newly added last year, the Euretina Exam fee.

Incoming Year 3 mentees are: Alessandro Arrigo (Italy), Federica Fossataro (Italy), Lasse Jørgensen Cehofski (Denmark), Lorenzo Ferro Desideri (Switzerland), Sandra Banderas García (Spain), and Sashwanthi Mohan (UAE).


Reflections of a 2022/2023 mentee

Participating in the Euretina Mentorship programme, Andrea Montesel, MD, a clinical and research fellow in the Medical Retina department at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK, said he was grateful for the experience. He described it as a valuable journey that redefined his professional outlook and said it exceeded his expectations. “The programme not only provided practical development skills courses and expanded my knowledge, but it gave me a safe space to ask questions and seek advice from someone with substantial expertise in the field. The guidance, insights, and personalised advice I received from my mentor were invaluable.”

“The programme also gave me the confidence to pursue new opportunities and challenges, and I believe that the professional connections I made through my participation will have a lasting positive impact on my career trajectory.”

“I encourage aspiring retinal specialists to put aside any apprehension they might have about reaching out to experienced professionals. Instead, seize the opportunity and apply for the programme. I am looking forward to witnessing the positive impact it has on the careers of the Year 1 and Year 2 mentees and future participants.”

More information can be found here.