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ESPE Caucasus & Central Asia School aims to support paediatricians from Central Asia and Caucasus countries who have entirely or partially completed their basic paediatric training and who are now either established in, or intending to develop a deep and continuing interest in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes.

The Caucasus & Central Asia School 2024 - Applications are now closed. 

 The Caucasus & Central Asia School is currently scheduled to be held as a physical meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from 04.04 to 07.04.2024. 

The deadline for your applications is 15.12.2023. The successful applicants will be informed by 05.01.2024.

The 8th ESPE C&CA school is planned for the Spring of 2024, in Uzbekistan, when Professor Gulnara Rakhimova from Tashkent will be re-joining the teaching faculty.

  • The course will be held over 4 days (5 nights).
  • Accommodation and meals will be provided free of charge, and travel grants will cover a train or reasonably priced plane ticket to the host city (tbc) railway station or airport. Travel fees will be remunerated by the ESPE treasurer.
  • Before the School, fellows will be provided with login details for the ESPE e-learning programme, where main topics will be available in both Russian and English. Self-study of the e-learning programme prior to the course is highly recommended.

What to expect at the Caucasus & Central Asia School

  • The format of this school will differ from year to year, but usually there are 3 days of intensive meetings, then a gala dinner on the evening of day 3
  • On the last day of the 4-day course, there is a one-day symposium open to all interested paediatricians in the host country.
  • Keynote lectures are given by experienced ESPE members and paediatric endocrinologists from Caucasus and Central Asia, with the aim of covering main topics in paediatric endocrinology.
  • Lectures are supplemented by small group sessions to discuss teachers’ cases.
  • Each student is asked to do a case presentation.
  • The course also includes an introduction into clinical research.
  • Students are encouraged to present their research projects.
  • Small group teaching: Student and teachers clinical case and research project presentations
  • The course is held in Russian, with English and Russian slides, and simultaneous Russian translation for English-speaking lecturers.

 ESPE Caucasus & Central Asia School,  Yerevan, Armenia 19th – 22nd April 2023

This meeting, postponed from October 2022, will go ahead with the previously  chosen faculty of 23 students from Armenia(12), Georgia (4), Kazakhstan (6), and Kyrgyzstan (1). We are joined by Elena Lundberg from Sweden, in place of Gunduz Amadov from Azerbaijan. The program will consist of three day’s intensive teaching (19-21 April), with an open day of teaching on day 4 (22 April).

Click here to view the 7th ESPE C&CA School Report 2023

ESPE C&CA School Webinars and ESPE e-learning sessions

In place of the usual face-to-face meetings during the Covid pandemic, two introductory webinars on Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes were held online in October 2021, for all applicants who had applied to the proposed October 2021 School, as a “starter” course for the physical School.  The full report from the webinars can be read here.

In September 2022, shortly before the planned C&CA School in Yerevan in October, a Zoom meeting was organised for the C&CA faculty to be taken through the ESPE e-learning portal. During this online meeting there was focus on a new three-part series of Growth and Puberty Masterclasses. These were initially filmed in English with added subtitles before a Russian-speaking version was created, changing the text of the presentations into Russian, and adding Russian subtitles.

Of note, delegates of the webinars are able to access course resources and information below with the login information provided by the organisers.

A short history of ESPE Caucasus and Central Asia School (ESPE C&CA School)

It was Prof Franco Chiarelli, then ESPE’s Secretary General, who in 2013 had the idea of starting a teaching school in the Caucasian and Central Asian (C&CA) countries. While ESPE Winter School (1995-) had proved highly successful in promoting teaching in Eastern Europe it was recognised that general knowledge of English was limited in the C&CA countries. A possible solution to this problem was to offer parallel teaching in English and Russian since although each C&CA country has its national language, Russian is the second official language in most.

Moreover, the establishment of ESPE Maghreb School (2011-), conducted entirely in the French language, had created a precedent for a further non-English-speaking ESPE School.

Preparations for the first ESPE C&CA school began 2014 when Malcolm Donaldson (UK), Rasa Verkauskiene (Lithuania) and Jan Lebl (Czech Republic) from ESPE met with Rima Bazarbekova (Kazakhstan), Gulnara Rakhimova (Uzbekistan) and Gunduz Ahmadov (Azerbailjan) in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The inaugural C&CA School, generously sponsored by Ferring, took place in October 2014 (see photo) with the faculty comprising Bazarbekova, Rakhimova, Ahmadov, Verkauskiene, Lebl, Franco Chiarelli (Italy), and Stenvert Drop (Netherlands). This and subsequent C&CA schools, was conducted in Russian but with dual Russian and English slide projection, and simultaneous translation of lectures by the non-Russian-speaking teachers into Russian. The annual C&CA schools continued until 2019, when the Covid pandemic restrictions resulted in cancellation in 2020-21 and when instability of the local situation in Armenia together with transport problems related to the Russian conflict with Ukraine caused postponement in autumn 2023.


ESPE Caucasus & Central Asia Schools 2015-2019 

Following the successful school in Almaty (2014), two further schools were held under Rasa Verkauskiene’s leadership in Azerbaijan (2015) and Uzbekistan (2016). In 2017, Stenvert Drop was replaced by Malcolm Donaldson, and Alina German took over as coordinator for Tajikistan (see photo). In 2018 the school was held in Kyrgyzstan, when Malika Alimussina replaced Gulnora Rackhimov. The most recent school was in Nur Sultan in 2019 (see photo). At  this meeting, the student faculty consisted of 21 doctors from Armenia (1), Azerbaijan (3), Georgia (1), Kazakhstan (10), Kyrgyzstan (1), Russia (2), Tajikistan (1), Ukraine (1) and Uzbekistan (1).  At each C&CA school there has been an excursion (see photo) and an opportunity for the whole faculty to enjoy the cultural richness of the host country (see photo)



The 2023 ESPE Caucasus & Central Asia School steering committee:

Alina German, Israel (coordinator)

Rasa Verkauskiene, Lithuania

Jan Lebl, Czech Republic

Malcolm Donaldson, UK

Malika Alimussina, Kazakhstan  

Franco Chiarelli, Italy

Elena Lundberg, Sweden

Participants who apply for membership for the year immediately following their attendance at a school are entitled to one year's free ESPE membership. Please note that this does not apply to existing ESPE members.