Beatriz Berenguer, EURAPS President
Dear Colleagues, Members and Friends,
It is a great honour for me to have been elected EURAPS President. I take on this responsibility with enthusiasm and with the commitment to work hard with the Secretary General, Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo, the Local Host of the 2017 EURAPS Annual Meeting, Grazia Salimbeni, and all the Executive Council to carry out the main missions of our Association:
- to promote excellence in Plastic Surgery in Europe
- to select the best scientific works for the annual meeting
- to stimulate research and teaching
- to preserve the unity of Plastic Surgery
The crisis of the past years has had a severe impact on our activity. Nevertheless, interest in our specialty continues to grow throughout Europe. Plastic Surgery is ranked by medical students within the top specialties, which allows us to choose the best. Specific problems with implant safety, but also spectacular results in complex surgeries such as face or limb transplants, have made Plastic Surgery more visible to the medical profession and also to the general public, which is helping the change of perception from a banal to a high-tech, well respected surgical specialty.
The task of selecting the best scientific work is getting increasingly difficult due to the high number of submissions from European and non-European centres. Altogether the reviewing system has proven to be fair and effective, and the quality of the scientific program seems to be improving year by year. The attendees rated the past Brussels meeting very positively. I believe it is the responsibility of the more experienced members and of the National Delegates to continue to attract new talent by personal involvement and mentorship. Also the Junior Working Group (JWG) is growing and will surely contribute to this mission: they can count on my help. I have talked to them about developing guidelines on how to build up a good CV for future membership.
The Research Council meeting just before the EURAPS Meeting has raised some concerns, but in my view research should remain a priority. In this line, the number of research and clinical fellowships should increase further.
Lastly, the unity of Plastic Surgery needs to be preserved. Many of us have superspecialized and attend meetings in specific fields. Some colleagues have expressed doubts about the future of general meetings, however, they are a unique opportunity to stay updated, and EURAPS remains the best. The attendance at most sessions is very high, discussions are lively, and the excitement of young and experienced colleagues when receiving acceptance of membership, or of an abstract, compares to that of very few other meetings. One of my goals is to stimulate more participation of world leaders in aesthetic surgery and with this in mind, Fabio and myself are opening a new collaboration with the Iberolatinamerican Federation that will surely be of mutual benefit.
I am a proud and optimistic president, and I will work with this spirit until Pisa, 25-27 May 2017 – Save the date!