In 2009, the ISN GO CME program organized the first ever ISN event on the West Bank and held a two day nephrology CME in Ramallah. The meeting was organized jointly by Norbert Lameire, Head of the ISN GO CME program and Riyad Said from Amman, Jordan, the chairman of the ISN GO Middle East committee. It was very successful in attracting participants and even catalyzing the formation of a new society, the Palestinian Society of Nephrology.
As we always do, ISN speakers reviewed the availablility of our GO programs and encouraged the Palestinian nephrologists present to make better use of these programs to advance nephrology in their region where few nephrologists are available and renal care is therefore challenged. The first tangible evidence of an extended benefit from the CME meeting in Ramallah came a year later when a Renal Sister Center application was funded cementing a relationship between Palestine and Amman.
To my delight, last month I received a letter from Dr Mohammad Bourini, a 4th year internal medicine resident at al-Maqassed Hospital in Jerusalem, reminding me of the Ramallah CME meeting he had attended and the efforts we made to encourage young palestinian physicians in attendance to become nephrologists. He told me that based on the Ramallah meeting he had decided to pursue a career in nephrology and sought my advice on possible training sites as well as how to seek the fellowship support from ISN we had spoken about. I encouraged Dr Bourini to consider pursuing the new ISN Fellowship program initiative supporting “south-south” training within his own region. Within 3 days, Dr Bourini was contacted by Dr Said in Amman and offered a position in a nephrology training program and support to apply for an ISN fellowship award to support it. A career is launched!
To me this anecdote illustrates the ISN and the GO programs at their very best. The first ever CME in the West Bank not only provided education but led first to a new Sister Renal Center relationship linking Ramallah with an established center in Jordan and then to use of the fellowship program to train a promising young nephrologist to practice in Palestine.