EUSP scholarship: A catalyst to acquiring my PhD

20 December 2019 Dr. Esteban Emiliani

Dr. Esteban Emiliani (ES, third from the left in the photo) gained a European Urological Scholarship Programme (EUSP) scholarship which gave him the opportunity to have his fellowship at the Tenon Hospital in Paris, France, to receive endourology-centred training. He wrote the following report about it.

Applying for the European Urological Scholarship Programme (EUSP) scholarship was one of the best opportunities I have ever had, as well as, one of the best challenges I have ever encountered.

I dedicated many hours and hard work for my project and priming for the interview for the application. This thorough preparation benefitted me then and would benefit me in what was to come.

The programme offered me numerous benefits such as guidance from the internationally-known Prof. Olivier Traxer (FR), and the opportunity to have my fellowship at one of the most important centres in endourology, the Tenon Hospital, which is located in Paris, France.

My experience there enabled me to learn surgical techniques and receive exposure to a wide spectrum of clinical research, in-vitro and laboratory studies that the best of the field of endourology can offer. The fellowship truly gave me a wider perspective on this subspecialty which is more vast that I had ever imagined.

Obtaining my doctorate
The programme gave me the opportunity to participate in a one-year fellowship wherein I started several projects in different lines of research, including the evaluation of holmium laser settings in different scenarios i.e. lithotripsy and its effect in soft tissue ablation. This resulted in several published papers which allowed me to pursue my doctorate at the Autonomous University of Barcelona under the tutelage of Dr. Joan Palou (ES) and Dr. Félix Millán-Rodríguez (ES), who later also guided me through the complex process of acquiring my PhD.

A wide variety of research
I worked with Dr. Michele Talso (IT), who was my partner during the clinical and surgical activities in a wide variety of research. Following the lead of Prof. Traxer, Dr. Talso and I immersed ourselves in endourology-focused activities.

We performed clinical research evaluating the clinical outcomes and reviewing surgical techniques such as use of apnoea during ureteroscopy, tips and tricks to get access in patients with Cohen reimplantation or analysis of reperfusion syndrome after ureteroscopy.

We carried out an expansive in-vitro and laboratory research. With the help of the laser laboratory, we examined how the holmium cavitation bubble could impact the ureteroscope.

Dr. Talso and I also performed an in-depth evaluation of the image quality of all flexible ureteroscopes available. This included image-enhancing technologies; efficiency of laser fibre passage if the tip of the fibre was cut; the single-use cystoscope to grasp and remove double-J stents.

With regard to lithotripsy, we evaluated the holmium-laser setting to look for the most efficient popcorn technique.

I am fortunate to have had a fellowship at Tenon Hospital, access to a laser laboratory (one of the biggest metabolic laboratories for stone analysis) and to hospital facilities which included the radiology and pathology units during collaborative studies.

I encourage residents to apply for the EUSP scholarship for an excellent start of their academic career. The EUSP has given me the opportunity to partake in the fellowship which allowed me to perform the research for my PhD in an optimal setting.

About the EUSP
The aim of the EUSP is to stimulate clinical and experimental research in Europe and to promote exchange amongst European urologists. Knowledge exchange is the keystone of the progress of European urology care and research standards.

Individuals interested in the EUSP scholarship must be a urologist, a urologist in training or a urology-associated scientist with an EAU membership. Further conditions can be found in the description of different programmes. All projects and/or visits must be conducted in a European institution outside the home country. In 2020, three application deadlines await; the first one as soon as 1 January 2020. For more information, please visit EUSP’s website.

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