Changing Strategies by Ornella Sizzi, MD
Many events have happened in the past six months, so many and so varied that they have compelled me to write and rewrite again my Editorial and to postpone the publishing of this Newsletter until now.
We had two successful meetings in New York and in Chennai. Chennai was a particularly well organised and well attended event with live surgery skilfully demonstrated and a new format of discussion quite peculiar to the land of Bollywood. Chuck Miller, who at that time our Vice President, managed to obtain a grant from Johnson & Johnson to have the live surgeries transmitted from the USA to India together with live surgery from India. If the system and the technology left behind has success, it could be the beginning of a new era with the possibility of transmitting surgeries from anywhere in the world and, what is even more exciting, to broadcast ISGE events directly to personal computers via the internet. While we are at the moment counting on the technology of SurgiView, we are planning to develop similar such technology integrated into the ISGE website.
Speaking about ISGE websites, there is a plan to implement and rationalise the time and energy that Tamer Seckin and myself spend upon them. There is also a project to create a more comprehensive website that will combine the news, the Journal and the WebTv.
In Chennai the mantle of Presidency was transferred from Steffano Bettocchi to Chuck Miller. As the new president, Chuck is facing a period of difficulty due to the world financial and political crisis. The planned meeting in Cairo, for example, had to be called off because of the political uncertainty in Egypt and elections which will be held in September with a consequent fear of possible unrest and the withdrawal of industry sponsorship. As a result, next September, we will be guests of the ESGE (European Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy) during the 20th Annual Meeting in London. Nevertheless the planned Annual Meeting to be held in the last week of March 2012 at the Celebration Hospital in Orlando is well underway and it will be an event quite unprecedented in the life of ISGE. Great emphasis will be given to hands-on pelvic trainer activities with the use of simulators and robots. A must also for the experienced laparoscopist.
We still have to solve the problem of hiring a PCO or a fundraiser. Either way we all agree that the society needs professional help with raising money and in providing liaison between ISGE and affiliated societies and hosting societies.
All of these difficulties and discussions however only prove that ISGE is still an energetic and robust society continually reinventing itself.
It is by common agreement that the goal of ISGE is not to compete with other societies but to instead work alongside them in organising meetings exemplified by the success of the recent joint meeting with SLS (Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons) in New York and we have seen a similarly successful meeting together with ESGE (Portoroz) and we will see such again in the future (London.)
The efforts of the society should be directed towards arranging and co-ordinating teaching programmes in developing countries. We have witnessed the success of the suturing course at the workshop immediately before the Chennai meeting. We had almost 60 participants, not to mention the medical students and residents of the hosting University, who had a teaching programme given by Dr Kurian Joseph with the help of ISGE board members. Putting together syllabi and teaching formats will be our next step. We all have the experience and enthusiasm to action this plan.
The teaching programmes of which I speak will sometimes occur immediately before conferences but also will occur as independent events. It is my firm belief that the surgical manufacturing industry will be even more keen to sponsor smaller and better focused meetings outlined above, especially in the developing world where the need for change is greatest.
I hope by our next issue of the Newsletter to be able to give you more information and particulars about further exciting developments going forward.