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Young Physicians Leaders Programme and World Health Summit 2016

Only a couple of days after my amazing first Young Forum Gastein experience in Austria, I was off to meet another group of global young health(care) professionals motivated to act as agents of change in their countries, regions and globally.

Following a nomination by the national Academy of Sciences and a selection process by the InterAcademy Panel, I was chosen as one of 24 young physicians from all around the world to participate in the Young Physician Leaders (YPL) programme and the World Health Summit (WHS) in Berlin, Germany in October 2016.

The group of Young Physician Leaders was truly global - Mexico, Nepal, South Africa, Brasil, Bangladesh, Sudan, Australia, Sri Lanka... just to name some countries where participants flew from. Besides all of us being young and being physicians, we came with a very varied professional and cultural backgrounds.

Being bored was not an option!

The programme started with a day of visits. Max Delbruck Centre (MDC) in the Helmholtz Bruch Campus and Bayer Headquarters gave us an idea how both academia/research and industry can work big and small but focused on the real health needs. At MDC we saw a "beast" 7T magnetic resonance (MR) machine next to an open-source initiative to offer tiny €10.000 MR machine to developing countries. At Bayer Healthcare we heard what's in the pipeline for the next generation biologics but also how young people from around the world come to develop their eHealth ideas in their Grants4Apps® start-up accelerator.

Next two days were reserved for leadership workshops at one of the leading business schools in the world - ESMT Berlin. Here we were pushed to our limits in both teamwork and self-reflection. We also met and exchanged experiences with some very inspirational senior leaders in (public) health.

Germans say "Zucker kommt zu letzt" (Sugar/Best comes at the end) and the same could be said for the last two days of our Berlin experience. As special YPL representatives we were invited to attend the 2016 World Health Summit and present on the last day with a session on Young Leaders and the Future of Leadership in Global Health. More than 1500 participants and almost 250 speakers, with a lot of parallel sessions in two days, made it impossible to attend all the sessions and talk to all the people I found interesting at the Summit. Nothing that can't be solved by returning in the following years...

Besides the "official" programme, there was - of course - some time to start new friendships, dance and enjoy Berlin.

YPL programme factsheet:

  • Organized by InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) for Health

  • In cooperation with ESMT Berlin and World Health Summit since 2011

  • YPL alumni so far: 131 (including the 2016 cohort)

  • Participation after selection process following a nomination by your national Academy of (Medical) Sciences (and Arts)

WHS factsheet:

  • Launched in 2009, an annual conference taking place in Berlin

  • Brings together decision-makers and representatives from the entire spectrum of health-related fields and industries from more than 80 countries

  • Participants address the most pressing issues that medicine and healthcare systems will face in the upcoming decade and beyond

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