In February this year, young scientist Israel Borges visited Cochrane Croatia as part of the Cochrane International Mobility Program.
On his return to Brazil he sent us a letter, which we carry in full:
Life is extremely unpredictable and that is the most inspiring part of it: all of the sudden you can re-encounter yourself, feel your best intuitions and show your passion and perseverance on things you do. This is exactly what describes my experience with Cochrane Croatia.
I have always loved research. Since when I was 14 years old (the time that I had my first scientific project in my previous high school for outstanding students in Brazil) I have been sure about my decisions for being a medical researcher. Last year, 2019, I was trying to find an inspiration, something to cheer me up and to provide me a career shift. Do you know when your life is kind sad and blue and all you need is a good experience and opportunity? That was literally me. As a probable response of the Universe for my requests, I saw one day an open call for a Cochrane Mobility Program in Sweden. I applied for it and was luckily accepted. Once I was in Sweden, where I had a good opportunity to learn more about systematic reviews and its processes, I heard one day about the same program, but in Croatia. At that time, I could be biased as I had already been in Croatia previously (and I simply felt the nicest atmosphere there). As soon as I heard about the Cochrane International Mobility in Croatia, I did not hesitate to apply for it and to look for more information about it.
Dr. Tina, who has always been so kind and lovely, answered my e-mail so promptly and mention the possibility for me to come. I was already in ecstasy as they had accepted me. All possible difficulties were left behind due to the fact I really wanted to obtain as much knowledge I could receive. I was already in Europe, I just had to extend my stay and be willing to learn even more.
Since the very first beginning everybody was so lovely with me. Dr. Irena (who helped me all the time) picked me up at the bus station, in the middle of the night, and dropped me at the university hotel. I was so excited to start working and providing the best I could to the group. I met the entire group (Ana (S), Luka, Shelly, Ivica and so many amazing and good-hearted people) and was sure I would like to offer the best of my knowledge and expertise to the group.
During my stay, I had an idea associated to the ongoing coronavirus infection in humans and started looking for more information about the disease, the evidence on literature associated to it and came to the conclusion that I could work in cooperation with Cochrane Croatia in order to create a reliable medical evidence on the topic. It was the perfect match: public health need and availability from me and others. Long story short, we could conclude a systematic review and meta-analysis of the topic and I could see how much a collaborative work still exists in this chaotic and, sometimes, unfair world.
After my stay in Croatia, I am even more sure about my deepest skills and feelings regarded to medicine. I could feel all the time the scientific environment, the appropriate condition to do research, and last but more importantly: the power to believe in your institutions and to be open to meet amazing people. Thanks to Cochrane Croatia, I could re-encounter Nensi, Irena, Tina and so many people that I am sure I will have forever in my heart. I have no words to describe my feelings right now about this program, about this opportunity and life experience.
Thank you so much for everything, Cochrane Croatia Group.