Salzburg Columbia University Seminar in Maternal and Infant Health

Jun 10, 2022

After the merge of New York Hospital and Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, doctors from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons joined the OMI faculty and conducted the first Salzburg Columbia University Seminar in Maternal and Infant Health in 1995. Dr. Richard Polin still leads the course to date, marking his 25th year serving as course director.

The Salzburg Columbia University Seminar in Maternal and Infant Health took place from June 5 to 11, 2022 at Schloss Arenberg in Salzburg, Austria. 31 fellows from 24 different countries such as Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey participated in this week’s course.

Alongside course director Dr. Richard A. Polin, Professor of Pediatrics, Dr. Friedrich Reiterer, Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of the Medical University of Graz, co-led the course.

Additional faculty consisted of Dr. Kathleen G. Brennan, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Division of Neonatology of Columbia University, Dr. Susan R. Hintz, Robert L. Hess Family Professor and Professor of Pediatrics and by courtesy of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University, Dr. George R. Saade, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and Dr. Ronald Wapner, Professor of OB/GYN and Director of Reproductive Genetics for the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Topics covered in the schedule did not only include gynecologic lectures, but also lectures on Neonatology, such as improving growth in preterm infants. Additionally, faculty introduced fellows to interesting neonatal and obstetrical cases.

On Tuesday and Thursday, fellows presented cases from their own clinical experience. 30 interesting cases were shared with faculty and colleagues, which resulted in fruitful discussions. Six of the presented cases were published in the OMI Case Library.

Wednesday afternoon provided faculty and fellows with a sunny, free afternoon. Some of them took the opportunity to explore the lake district around Salzburg, visiting St. Gilgen and the beautiful Wolfgangsee.

After a classical chamber music concert on Thursday evening, the seminar ended on Friday with a graduation ceremony, presenting fellows with their certificates of attendance and a formal dinner.

Our class is diverse in origin and background. Pediatricians, Neonatologists, Obstetrician/Gynecologists, and a Nephrologist from all over the world.

Semhal Getachew Teka, MD

OMI fellow from Ethiopia

The topic about strategies for sharing difficult news by Dr. Brennan was especially valuable for me because this is really difficult to do in a real medical environment. That is one of the reasons why these seminars are so important, because we can use our new knowledge back in our countries and transmit it to many people. […] In an open and friendly environment, we were able to present and discuss both interesting and challenging cases. In fact, we did learn a lot from these shared experiences, not only regarding medical decisions, but also management of our environment and resource limitations.

Dillan Izaguirre, MD

OMI fellow from Mexico