ESCRS Congress is the meeting all Eye care specialists cannot miss, especially the eye surgeons!
A meeting to listen to top opinion leaders, to watch live the best eye surgeons, to debate with your colleagues and discuss the hottest topics, to find out the latest hi-tech novelties.
Who can disclose what has happened this year in Barcelona better than ESCRS President, Roberto Bellucci?
ESCRS “at a glance”: how much ESCRS activities are important for the education and update of eye surgeons all over Europe?
R. Bellucci: ESCRS plays an essential role in the education of eye surgeons all over Europe. This function includes a mix of direct and indirect activities, someone may not be fully aware of:
a. ESCRS meetings are the top events for update and education about the anterior segment. Symposia and lectures deal both with daily subjects and with the more specialistic ones, through an independent approach that is greatly appreciated by all the delegates.
b. Information exchange is strongly fostered. During the meeting each ophthalmologist can ask questions to top experts and be sure to get a prompt and polite answer. ESCRS has always supported and is still supporting the spread of ophthalmic surgical standards all over Europe.
c. The activities specifically aimed at less experienced ophthalmologists during the summer and winter meetings provide an educational offer with no comparison in Europe and in the world. It is enough to mention the basic courses in phaco, refractive surgery, cornea, basic optics or corneal topography.
d. ESCRS is the first society in the world to provide a programme specifically dedicated to young ophthalmologists to introduce them into ESCRS and phase them in within 3-4 years. A very cheap registration fee and the opportunity to introduce and comment their own videos are the cornerstones of this programme.
e. There are two education web programmes all ESCRS members can access for free: on-line congress presentations (12,000!) and I-LEARN programme with specific interactive courses about cataract surgery, cornea and refraction.
f. Some of the above mentioned courses are recommended by the European Board of Ophthalmology (EBO). EBO is an educational institution recognized by the European Union and qualified to release the super-specialty diplomas (the so called “Fellowship”) after an examination taking place every year in Paris. In Italy FEBO teachers are prof. Bandello and prof. Midena, who is also EBO Italian representative.
g. ESCRS sponsors training periods of residency for young ophthalmologists at prestigious ophthalmic structures that have received its certification. Every year there are 40 grants of € 1,000 each for opthalmologists younger than 35 years old to travel in Europe.
h. As ESCRS President I promoted a programme of transcontinental sponsorship. This year 3 young ophthalmologists have been residents in the US for 10 days. This programme is based on the exchange: therefore we will host 3 American doctors in Europe and one of them will be resident in Verona next September. The programme has got world resonance and we have already some imitators!
And the effects on the business? Are there new impulses to develop technologies and instruments to meet the needs and relationships arising along ESCRS meetings?
R. Bellucci: A stronghold for ESCRS is its excellent relation with the world of business, which is an important partner for ESCRS but also for the whole Ophthalmologic society. ESCRS is the ideal place where the companies can find the impulses for new products and instruments. It’s from this common work that most technological innovation we are witnesses has been born! The society established precise ethical rules, with also an ethics committee, in order to split science from promotion. For example courses that are in practice instructions for the use of a single product are not admitted. These rules have been shared and appreciated by the world of business, which at the congresses has its own dedicated spaces and activities but without ESCRS brand.
Could you tell us about a very special moment during your experience in this exciting international scientific environment?
R. Bellucci: There are plenty of exciting moments that I have experienced during the two years as ESCRS President, but my most pleasant memory is, sometime before becoming President, when in Moscow, I happened to perform a live eye surgery just in Fyodorov’s operating room, with the support of his own surgical team. There, on that very day I felt I had a link with the hearth of the world Ophthalmology, a context with wonderful friends who are so similar although they come from very different continents.
After the degree and specialization in Ophthalmology at Padua University, Roberto Bellucci started his career as ophthalmologist at Salò ULSS and Verona Ophthalmic Clinics. Since 2001 he is the Director of the UOC of Ophthalmology at Verona University Hospital.
Since 1979 Roberto Bellucci has given lessons of anterior segment surgery at Verona University. Among other ophthalmic activities, he performs cataract and corneal refractive surgery.
He is President of the ESCRS since 2014.
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