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How ESSO / EYSAC contribute to the promotion of surgical oncology training. 30/07/2019

How the ESSO Young Surgeons and Alumni Club (EYSAC) contribute to the promotion of surgical oncology training. An interview with Dr. A. Brandl at the White Nights St. Petersburg Oncology Forum (June 20 – 23, 2019).

The congress committee of the annual Russian Oncology Congress “White Nights” in St Petersburg decided this year to create a Joint session for young surgeons with the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO). The White Nights congress is an established international congress focused on oncology for several different professional groups, including surgical and medical oncologists. The President of the Association of Oncologists of the North-western Federal District of Russia Prof A.M. Belyaev invited Prof Domenico D'Ugo (ESSO President-elect) and Dr Andreas Brandl (EYSAC steering committee member) to this congress. The main focus of the Joint session was to demonstrate the differences in surgical training in Russia and Europe and to illustrate possibilities of training, courses and support especially for young surgeons by ESSO.

The session was chaired by Dr Aisha Isaeva (Moscow Oncology Research Institute n.a. P. Hertsen Russian Federation), who works in close collaboration with different European surgeons as an elected EYSAC national representative for Russia. During this session ESSO was able to contribute to a better understanding of structured training of young surgeons, as this often is a major problem in many countries. Surgical training is often not supported or rewarded and therefore regularly dependent on personal relations and not a part of a training mentality.

ESSO is host of two structured surgical training programs, the European School of Peritoneal Surface Oncology (ESPSO), which is a joint venture between ESSO and the Peritoneal Surface Oncology Group International (PSOGI). Additionally, the European School of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery is a joint venture of ESSO and CTOS (Connective Tissue Oncology Society). These two schools provide an excellent curriculum of an advanced 2-year training period including clinical training and involvement in scientific projects in reference centres.


Interview with M.Beadling, ESSO Communications and Project Co-ordinator:


Andreas, how did you find out about the White Nights Oncoforum?

I have been a member of ESSO (European Society of Surgical Oncology) and the EYSAC steering committee of for two years now. I was invited to the White Nights forum to represent young surgeons at this year’s special session of the ESSO. We cooperate with Dr Aisha Isayeva from Moscow, which is the national representative of Russia in the EYSAC. This program was created a year ago with the aim of strengthening cooperation among European countries.

What was the most rewarding aspect for you, personally as an EYSAC ambassador when attending the White Nights Oncoforum in St Petersburg?

To see how passionate and motivated young Russian surgeons were to co-operate, and to share my experiences and my own path within surgical oncology with them, but most importantly to explain to them what ESSO can offer in terms of fellowship opportunities, quality training courses and becoming EYSAC members.  

Two-part question (1) Andreas you’ve been a member of EYSAC for some time now, do you think your trip to Russia as an EYSAC ambassador is proof that the national representative program is working?  (2) What do you think the future holds for the national representatives’ initiative?

Absolutely. I think this experience is proof that the EYSAC national representative program is starting to produce real co-operative results. The fact that ESSO had a Russian EYSAC national representative (Dr Aisha Isaeva) to collaborate with on this event makes it clear.

I think the future is very bright for this program, we (EYSAC steering committee) have been contacted by other national representatives to attend a similar talk because of the national representative program.

The more EYSAC members can collaborate, share information and experiences, the better.

Do you have any tips for future young EYSAC or young surgical oncologist members wanting to do the same as you? Either by joining EYSAC or becoming a national representative?

Work hard, invest in your profession and career, in societies (national and international).

Collaboration in knowledge is a beautiful thing, and the more we can collaborate in knowledge of cancer care the better outcome we will reach in our patients as surgical oncologists, young surgeons and surgeons in training.

Contact the ESSO secretariat for more information on how to apply as a national representative or join EYSAC.

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