Dr. Efrosini Papagiannuli, Great Britain
1. Could you please describe your academic/ professional career in a few words?
I graduated from the University of Wuerzburg in spring 1997 ad moved directly to the UK to do my AiP, completing my 3d Staatsexamen 18 months later. I achieved my MD in Neurology in 1998 with Prof H Reichmann as my mentor and Doktorvater. The AiP experience in the UK was so interesting, that I decided to remain and pursue my speciality training (part time) in Ophthalmology in this country, where I have lived and practiced ever since. After the general Ophthalmology training, I spend 3 years sub-pecilaising in Medical Retina and Uveitis, as a post-graduate clinical fellow. Since 2016 I have been working as a consultant in these fields in East Kent, serving a population of 720000.
My other professional interests include Medical Education, where I hold a post-graduate Diploma in and charitable work.
2. What do you find most fascinating about your home country?
The fact that there is still a monarchy, is for sure the most fascinating thing about the UK.
3. Do you have any experience regarding a scientific or economic exchange between your home country and countries of the European Union?
In my field of clinical Medicine, here have been plenty of occurrances, where European medical students or junior doctors have been working in my team, doing electives or in short term posts, and in these situations I have provided informal mentorship, when requested, as the UK system and life is very different to continental Europe and can seem rather complicated. The last few colleagues, where this was the case I supported during my fellowship in Birmingham in 2016, advising an Italian graduate (who I am proud to say secured a uveitis fellowship after I left) and in t 2018, a Palestinian medical student, who I had met during my field trip with OxPal in 2015, who had followed my advice at the time, graduated and came to the UK for further studies. I coached her in interview techniques and she managed to secure a junior fellowship in Ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
4. What do you think about the importance of Alumni in terms of the cultural, academic and economic exchange?
Used judiciously, old alumni of the university can be torchbearers for the alma mater, but also provide a wealth of wisdom and knowledge to the current student body, with advice covering the various professional fields, but also ways of pursuing careers abroad, obstacles to overcome and adjusting to a new environment in the post-graduate period. In short, old alumni can easily act a mentor figures, matched with the right candidates.