What is the aim of the Fostering courses? Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Here at EADV we could not agree more. One of our main missions is to offer continuous training to trainee dermatologists and venereologists so that they have the best knowledge to care for patients suffering from skin or venereal diseases. We also find it essential to create a community where colleagues from around the world can connect, share knowledge, experience and ideas. In 2005, the Fostering Department saw the light of day to respond to the objectives of the Academy’s mission. A committee was set up to define the aims of the educational programme. After its first meeting in EADV House in Brussels, the Fostering Trainee Education Committee (FTEC) created the mission statement for the new department: “The aim of the Fostering programme is to raise standards of dermatology throughout Europe by offering trainee dermatologists and venereologists high quality theoretical and practical training and an emphasis on best practice to benefit patients and dermatologists. To promote community, colla- boration and exchanges between European dermatologists.” What are the Fostering courses? With clear goals in mind, the Committee began the tremendous work of defining the guidelines for the courses and the EADV Brussels office was appointed to take charge of their organisation. Budgets were defined to create alignment across courses and relations with the Scientific Programming Committee (SPC) were established to ensure no overlap with the Congresses. Courses would last between 2–4 days and would be organised either in university hospitals or pri- vate practices where scientific equipment was available; the EADV Brussels office also hosted many courses where no scientific material was needed. To be approved, a course would need to offer practical sessions, which attendees could not get from a Congress or Symposium. Speakers would be invited from all over Europe to share their knowledge with the participants.
The 20 or 30 resident participants would benefit from the accommodation offe- red by EADV throughout the course and from the educational grant which was given to the EADV members to help them cover their travel expenses. At first, courses were only offered to residents; no mix would be made with cer- tified dermatologists to ensure a similar knowledge level between participants. Each course would receive up to 150 registrations and a selection process was put in place to select the best applicants. The Course Chair and an FTEC member would review all the applicants’ curricula vitæ and make a selection based on the following criteria: EADV members would have priority over non-members,