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The Importance of Specialised Surgical Oncology Education 28/08/2017

Specialised education and training is paramount in our field, and ESSO strives to advance the preparation of surgical oncologists so that every cancer patient has the same expectation of excellent treatments, care and outcomes anywhere in Europe.

On behalf of the ESSO Education Committee, I can say that we are already proud of what we have been able to offer you so far. 2017 was characterised by the introduction of new courses such as the ESSO Course on Thyroid Cancer Surgery, the ESSO Course on Ultrasound in Breast Cancer Surgery and the EORTC-ESSO-EYSAC Course on Clinical Trials in Surgical Oncology, all of them which received an excellent participant feedback.

We currently provide up to 20 high-level courses and Masterclasses every year at various European locations. These courses cover a range of surgical disciplines with a faculty that features some of the world experts in the field, showcasing advanced surgical techniques and multidisciplinary practice. Because of the renowned faculty and the high professionalism showed in our courses, both established healthcare professionals and surgeons in training have decided to join our Society. Our educational offer for next year therefore has become increasingly varied, with courses, masterclasses and workshops that meet the needs of every level of expertise and experience existing within our membership.

Here I would like to sincerely thank the members of the ESSO Young Surgeons Alumni Club (EYSAC), who showed high-levels of dedication and enthusiasm in the past period, helping us to renew our courses as well as our communication channels (e.g. via social media and webinars), to meet the needs of the future leaders in surgical oncology. 2018 will start indeed with a course co-organised by this dynamic group, the ESSO-EYSAC Hands on Course on Colorectal Cancer Surgery on 25-27 January 2018 in Ljubljana (Slovenia), and we are integrating these needs also by offering a series of fellowships to support young trainees, allowing them to visit centres of oncological excellence both within and outside Europe, as well as to sponsor their attendance at hands-on training workshops and prestigious congresses.

In education ESSO doesn’t work in isolation, as we believe that pooling different types of expertise is beneficial for everyone, and especially for course participants. The European School of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, in partnership with CTOS (Connective Tissue Oncology Society), and the European School of Peritoneal Surface Oncology (ESPSO), in partnership with the Peritoneal Surface Oncology Group International (PSOGI), are examples of successful partnerships delivering two excellent training programmes for selected applicants who are now expanding their experience in the management of two highly demanding and specialised fields of cancer surgery. Another example is the Global Curriculum for surgical oncology training, which we developed together with the USA Society for Surgical Oncology (SSO): the result of this common effort to create a robust workforce of highly-skilled surgical oncologists was recently published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO) and in the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

We hope by all these initiatives that we will help surgical oncologists achieve their full potential and help them to practice state-of-the-art surgical treatments. Last but not least, we are now working hard to make sure that our next ESSO 38 Congress – which will take place on 10-12 October 2018 in Budapest, Hungary – will feature a strong educational programme and cover all the most topical science issues, to make it the most interesting appointment for you next year. See you there!

Lynda Wyld,  

Chair of the ESSO Education and Training Committe  

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