Dear Colleagues and Friends
Hippocrates, who lived approximately 460-337 B.C., is quoted as saying: “The life so short, the craft so long to learn”. We all come to admit this at some stage of our professional lives. When we embrace this learning concept, we are actually assuming that there is an ‘underlying reality’ which can be studied and a ‘scientific truth’ which, though unreachable, we should strive to approach.
The idea of a body of trained medical professionals sharing the best scientific knowledge of their day as a group (Schools of Medicine), took root in Italy in the late15th century. The concept of collectively sharing scientific knowledge is relatively recent: The first recorded medical conference was held in Paris in 1867. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. The European Society of Surgery, along with other medical professional institutions has to perform its functions in an evolving professional and presently adverse financial environment. We are well aware that adaptability is the hallmark for survival and eventually progress. The ESS is thus evolving, adopting a more socially committed, austere and ecological attitude, without compromising our standards, quality or ideals. In a profession plagued by information overload, effective and efficient knowledge translation is critical. These are not imposed changes but ones made consciously out of respect for our profession, society and eventually our patients.
It is in this spirit that the European Society of Surgery is inviting you to actively participate in the XVII Annual Conference in Malta, a cultural and political bridge between Europe and Africa, a geographical centre of Mediterranean commerce, power struggles and culture for many millennia. We encourage all surgical colleagues and trainees from all Europe and beyond, to share expertise, innovation and enthusiasm not only by attending the ESS Annual Conference, but also by submitting quality scientific papers and engaging in discussions based on critical appraisal of the evidence. In that way we may all improve on our professional proficiency, that is, ‘best practice’.
We also remind eligible trainees to register for the EBSQ General and Visceral Surgery Exam leading to conferment of the FEBS, which will be held on the 20th and 21st November 2013, just before the ESS Conference. This is the result of the illuminated collaboration between the UEMS Surgery Board and Section, Division of General Surgery and the European Society of Surgery. This European Exit Exam and its relative qualification provide a great opportunity for surgical trainees and will serve them well in the future. We thank all those amongst us who through their hard work and determination have made this possible.
On behalf of the ESS Board we look forward to meeting you all in Malta from the 21st to the 23rd November 2013. The theme of the meeting will be: ‘The surgeon facing the balance between ethico-scientific values and limited resources’.
Arthur Felice Alfonso Barbarisi