The WPA action plan for the triennium 2011 – 2014 set by WPA President Prof. Pedro Ruiz and approved by the WPA General Assembly included an emphasis on training and education especially for middle and low income countries around the world. Several programs were held in the form of “Educational Seminars” either as part of the WPA sponsored international and regional congresses or on their own. Several educational programs have been held in South America and in Asia and now it was time to start these educational programs in Africa and the Middle East.
A WPA educational seminar on schizophrenia was held in Cairo, Egypt which aimed to assist early career psychiatrists to keep abreast of knowledge and help with the development of their abilities in the field of psychiatry. The professional development that they undertake will enable them to provide the optimum level of health care to the patients and the community.
The main objectives of this seminar were;
1. to ensure that all early career psychiatrists receive opportunities for continuous professional development
2. to ensure provision of up-to-date clinical information by expert practitioners who will participate in the educational activities of this seminar and ensure its effectiveness
3. to help in the dissemination and retaining of medical knowledge among committed and highly motivated early career psychiatrists.
The target audience were 30 Early Career Egyptian Psychiatrists who have completed at least three years of psychiatric training.
The WPA educational seminar on schizophrenia was chaired by Prof. Pedro Ruiz (WPA President) and the faculty was composed of Prof. Tarek Asaad, Prof. Tarek Okasha and Prof. Hisham Ramy. The advisor to the seminar and the guest keynote lecturer was Prof. Ahmed Okasha (WPA Council Member and WPA Past President).
The educational seminar was a one full day seminar which started by a Key Note Lecture by Prof. Ahmed Okasha entitled “Innovations relevant to the pathogenesis of Schizophrenia”, this was followed by 3 interactive workshops by each of the 3 faculty members attended by all participants in rotation. The first was on Schizophrenia (acute presentation) which reviewed (diagnosis, differential diagnosis, control of patients and management, mistakes to avoid, legal aspects & case study). The second was on Schizophrenia (follow-up, response and remission) which reviewed (how to maintain controlled patients, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, expressed emotions (EE), social skills training, role of ECT, outcomes, prognosis, syndromal recovery and functional recovery, legal aspects & case study). The third was on Schizophrenia (resistant) which reviewed (diagnosis, management, maintenance, control, legal aspects & case study).
At the end of the day a certificate of attendance was given to all participants with 6 World Psychiatric Association Educational Credits.
An evaluation form was used which showed an overwhelming satisfaction by the attendees and we received several requests to hold the seminar in other parts of Egypt as well as other countries in the Middle East Region.
Prof. Tarek Okasha
WPA Secretary for Scientific Meetings