Editorial from Ray Garry -
"From Thailand through Brazil to Sydney: ISGE Spans the World"
From Thailand through Brazil to Sydney: ISGE Spans the World
After all the uncertainties and problems during the run up, our inspiring Annual Meeting was held in brilliant weather, in a magnificent congress venue to the delight of the 600 or so delegates who made the trip from all corners of the globe. Our hosts, the Thai Society for Gynecologic Endoscopists, under the leadership of their President SomChai KoVitChaRoenKul received us with typical charming Thai hospitality. After a moving opening ceremony, with graceful Thai dancers supported by exciting drummers and musicians we were formally welcomed by the Thai Minister of Tourism. Then, for the following three days we had a mix of live surgery, keynote and plenary sessions and three concurrent rooms of lectures and a further 3 concurrent video sessions, all addressing the theme of “The Ultimate Advanced Technologies in Endoscopic Surgery beyond 2010”. In addition to our traditional sharing of knowledge and experiences from all types and locations of practices we had plenty of opportunity to make many new friends, particularly from the far-east and to renew and strengthen old friendships. It was truly a warm and friendly event.
There were long Ex-Co and well attended full board meetings as well as the formal AGM. In fact the Board meeting was such fun we held a second one the following day! The reports, which will be presented more fully elsewhere, emphasised the growing economic and political power of the society. Our retiring president, Peter Maher, is to be warmly congratulated on presiding over a period in which the society established a more stable secretariat, became more healthy financially and more efficient in communications. There is of course much more to do, before we reach our goal of becoming the pre-eminent international gynaecological endoscopic society with an infra-structure to match. We are moving encouraging in the right direction.
The main business was to confirm the election of our current vice-president Stefano Bettocchi as our new president and to elect a new vice-president and treasurer. There was some lack of clarity over who was eligible to stand for election and we have agreed to make this process more transparent. The proposed and necessary amendment to the constitution to ensure this, appears elsewhere in this newsletter. Four first rate and distinguished candidates stood for election. Traditionally the society has favoured a zonal rotation system whereby the presidency rotates between three large, arbitrary, vertically defined areas in an attempt to ensure that no area dominates the major offices. These are The America’s, Europe and Africa and Asia including Australia and New Zealand. In this rotational system it was the America’s turn and perhaps in respect to this tradition, Chuck Miller was duly elected. Not only have we a fine Senior Officer’s team but we must certainly have the best dressed Ex-Co with Armani challenging Calvin Klein at every event.
After many years of excellent and transparent service to the society, our Treasurer, Ray Valle, also resigned at this meeting. As the society is incorporated in the USA it was highly desirable that our new treasurer worked in the US. We are fortunate, therefore, that Duncan Turner from California accept our proposal. We now have a young dynamic Ex-Co ready to lead the society forward. Each has exciting new ideas which they will be presenting to you over the coming months.
In October the society next moves on from fascinating South East Asia to San Paulo in exciting Brazil for a regional meeting concentrating specifically on Endometriosis. This meeting under the chairmanship of Mauricio Abrao will not only be of the highest possible scientific quality but will give us an opportunity to discover the culture and traditions of this enormous and rapidly developing country. Then next May we move back across the Pacific to Sydney in Australia. Shelia’s and kangaroos, surfing and the outback, we have the opportunity to experience yet another and very different culture and way of life. This is the real benefit and joy of being a member of ISGE. We have unparalleled opportunities to see how colleagues in every corner of the world use and overcome different cultural, economic and political constraints to achieve the single common goal of providing the best possible surgery for our patients. This is a rare privilege and opportunity. I urge all, particularly our younger colleagues to grasp every opportunity to travel and see how others tackle our common problems. This is very good for patient care and it is also very interesting and great fun