Tell us a little bit about your background as Coordinator of the Working Group?
My background before this important assignment is very simple…my interest and passion in pediatric oncohematology had started during my first specialization. I fortunately thought and I actually still think that this small part of pediatric patients are very special and need special treatment that is not only medical but spiritual and empathic too. So I started to improve my knowledge and looked for other young doctors interested in this field. I knew AIEOP as the most important Italian association in pediatric oncology and hematology.
The AIEOP DISCOVERY Working Group was founded in 2020 but we initially started a few years prior as a group thanks to Professor Biondi who pushed us to do something more for young doctors. This is a group of young pediatricians that train other young doctors interested in oncohematology. Our goals are to create training events, improve knowledge in this complicated field, promote job opportunities, and always involve new people.
In recent years we also created a new Facebook page to increase spreading information and to continuously reach more and more people.
What is the overall goal and in addition a specific current goal of the WG?
The WG’s overall goal is to set up an outlined and nationally recognized pathway for all-round training in pediatric oncohematology. We also want to commit ourselves at a European and international level to collaborate and grow even more, maintaining relationships with the other young oncohematology groups in Europe. We therefore undertake to spread knowledge and information useful for the training of young pediatric oncologists, organising the journal club, training courses and publicizing the congress or other events concerning pediatric oncohematology.
What has been your WG’s greatest accomplishment?
We believe our best achievement thus far was creating this group of young doctors who have started to think about training, education, and formation in the field of pediatric oncology and hematology.
It is the first time in Italy we have the possibility to test ourselves and to be protagonists in the improvement of our knowledge and skills. For this reason, we also have to thank AIEOP’s Board of Directors.
We have tried to understand what are the needs of the young pediatric oncologists through a survey, which was sent to all the Italian AIEOP Centers. We now have a better understanding of the work we must do in the coming years.
Another important goal is the connections that we are creating with other national and international groups. We can learn a lot from the experiences of other groups and we believe we can also make our contribution to improving the training program of the people who would like to learn more about pediatric oncology and hematology.
What message do you have for the international medical community?
Our message for the international community would be to grow as an interconnected group, to harmonize the education and the opportunities throughout Europe and to build the network of our future community of pediatric oncologists.