Presidential Newsletter / Mehmet Demirhan
Dear SECEC Members,
The second year of my term as the President of a very eminent society has been exceptionally rewarding despite all the achievements that have been fulfilled during the first year. Unfortunately, Copenhagen was the only occasion for seeing each other in the second half, because of the restrictions of an ominous pandemic. In this very productive meeting, we evaluated the achievements of our first year and paved the way to our next annual meeting. Our Executive Committee has assembled in six teleconference meetings later on, during the pandemic where we focused essentially on the Poznan Congress organization. In January 2020, I had the occasion to meet with all the committee members for having feedbacks and exchanging opinions. I believe that this communication was remarkably efficient for both parts. I am addressing you today for a brief summary of our latest administrative activities, right before I hand over the flag to my dear friend Emilio Calvo.
Last year, we created our society’s first strategic plan, a map for effectively allocating our resources and energy. This document is also important for our members to monitor and inspect our administration’s activities towards our strategic goals. I am certain that Dr. Calvo will carry on the strategic management further by expanding the plan upon necessary fields. The creation of a new “ad hoc” committee would be the first item on his agenda following the approval of our general assembly. The International Committee’s main scope will be the closer encounters with other shoulder and elbow societies. Recently COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that there are matters that require quick reaction on a global scale. In order to accelerate our decision making and collaboration with our sister societies, we intended to incorporate one of their members into SECEC’s administrative level. Hence, the formation of a committee chaired by SECEC President including one ASES member, one member from each of the Korean Society, Japanese Society, South African, New Zealand, Australian, South American, Indian and Chinese Societies, will be proposed to your opinions.
As you know, we have made an important modification in SECEC membership criteria. Becoming an associate and junior member is now easier. However, ordinary membership which is the core of our members' population remained almost the same in order to keep our scientific niveau. When these new regulations have met with the great efforts of Alexandre Lädermann and his membership committee, we enrolled 131 new members to our society.
The year 2020 will be remembered as a dark and mournful year all around the world. Along with all the souls that have passed away, we lament the loss of our founding father Norbert Gschwend. In order to cherish his respectful memory, our Research and Development Committee has initiated a new prize for his name, pertaining particularly to the elbow. I believe that this new prize will motivate especially young researchers and will help our society with embracing the elbow.
SECEC is a surgical society but even the best surgery must be consolidated. Today, in the era of multi-disciplinary medicine, including only physio into the friends' list, is not enough. Our Rehabilitation Committee is responsible for this completion and started in Copenhagen to expand the communication to all medical professionals that delivers healthcare to the patients with shoulder and elbow disorders. This is why we have changed the committee’s name as Healthcare Delivery Committee to cover all that is out of the operating room. In the upcoming years, you will see an incredible increase in the scope and activity of this far-reaching committee. As a debut project, SECEC and EUSSER are collaborating in a webinar project on ‘Non-operative and operative treatment of symptomatic rotator cuff tears: Update, that will be broadcasted on the 17th of November. I am sure that this organization will consolidate our relationship with the EUSSER and pave the way to its sequels.
As you may be aware, the abstracts accepted for the virtual congress will be published on JSES International as well. This year, our abstracts will appear on a special issue, so we expect that the publication process takes much less time. Two other good news from the journal are the creation of a direct link between JSES and our website and an additional subscription to another journal in JSES Family: Seminars in Arthroplasty. Moreover, we agreed to cancel the printed version of the journal in the name of reducing our carbon footprint. No more trees cut for SECEC.
I am delighted to report that junior members became far more prominent in the society since last year. As you know, Junior Membership is free of annual fee, until the member reaches 32 years of age, to be promoted into an Associate Member. Junior Members Committee currently represents 84 enthusiastic young surgeons in the Executive Committee and all other platforms.
Our Education Committee activities have been doubled due to the breakthrough in online education. During the pandemic, our ambition was to keep our instructional activities alive, by reaching our members through every possible platform. On December 12, SECEC has broadcast its first Webinar entitled “Capsular Release of the Elbow” which attracted considerable attention and conveyed highly positive feedbacks. Moreover, Dr. Paolo Paladini and his fellow committee members have almost completed a brilliant new project of SECEC Podcasts, that will take place firstly during the virtual congress and hopefully, will continue regularly. Apart from all these projects, this incredible committee manages 26 assigned patronages and the arrangement of cancelled fellowships due to COVID-19. The last fellowship before the pandemic was SECEC Eastern European Travelling Fellowship in November 2019 when personally I had the pleasure of hosting two brilliant young surgeons in Istanbul. This valuable project of the Eastern European Committee will resume in 2021 with the sponsorship of Arthrex.
I must confess that among the developments of the last two years, the progress that excites me most was the implementation of SECEC Certificate Program. I am particularly grateful to the Qualification Team, who made it possible with dedicated and assiduous work. We have already started appointing the teaching centers that meet the criteria and accrediting scientific events according to the volume of the SECEC Curriculum that is covered by the event’s program. I kindly ask you to visit our website and stay tuned to the “Qualification” activities for the announcements. Moreover, please do evaluate your institution according to the criteria of becoming a SECEC Teaching Centre in order to play a part in this outstanding project.
We have proudly presented our new website last year and as you may realize that the content is incredibly expanding. Besides its elegant appearance, the new personal area is much more user friendly, and the applications for fellowships or patronage are noticeably more accessible. In the near future, we will witness our website playing its part in the SECEC Certification Program as the third column of the curriculum. We are planning to transform our website into an educational platform where our members will be able to share or watch instructional videos, respond related questions, and collect certification points. At this point, I need to remind you that more than 300 videos are already stored in our website’s video learning section to which all our members have access. The new categorization and the filtering tool allow you to quickly attain your query. I hope you all enjoy and benefit from the new features of our website which is dynamically enriched by our devoted Website Committee.
SECEC is a strong community that comprises 750 members, which provides a financial resistance to global economic fluctuations. Nevertheless, our members should bear in mind that the maintenance of all the aforementioned educational activities depends on the continuous incomes of our society, mainly the annual fees. For our part, we are expanding the possible ways of payment including credit cards; and for your parts, I kindly request a more proactive attitude to increase the percentage of paid annual fees, which is currently around 70%. You may as well support our society by registering to the first virtual congress of SECEC with a reduced fee of only 100 Euros.
Today, we are living an unparalleled episode of the history of human civilization. Among many tragedies our good old planet has suffered, very few have created such a deep global impact. With our hearts full of sorrow for those who lost their lives, and compassion for those who suffer from the disease and its consequences, we change ourselves and our ways of living to adapt.
As it is beautifully quoted by Albert Einstein: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”; SECEC has proven to have a very dynamic and responsive structure by quickly managing to transform all that is prepared for Poznan, to an exceptional virtual event. I appreciate the huge efforts of our Program Committee for including almost the whole scientific content of our annual congress, into a series of sustainable virtual meetings. Starting from September 9, we will meet once in a month for 4 consecutive months on October 7, November 11, and finally, December 9. Please visit our first virtual congress website to check the entire scientific program including a very high level of ICL’s and selected abstracts.
The last few phrases to conclude my message stand for a conclusion to my term as well. I must clearly state that to become the president of SECEC has been the finest obtainable, among the achievements of a surgeon. During the last two years, being able to serve such an eminent society evoked a very strong sensation of fulfilment, along with a phenomenal thirst for doing more.
At the end of my term, I feel satisfied in terms of innovations that our team implemented and saddened at the same time for all the projects that could not see the light of day. Luckily, I still have the chance to collaborate with my successor and dear friend Dr. Emilio Calvo, as the Past President of our society for carrying our society one step further. I wish to express my gratitude to all of you, for bestowing on me the most precious title I would ever acquire in my career.