The 4th IUA summer international course took place in Prague from July 10-13, 2016.
Summer courses for young medical doctors interested in the field of vascular diseases have been organised in Prague since 2013 and have become one of the important and respected events of the IUA (International Union of Angiology). Other societies and partners have been gradually joining as co-organisers, which aside from The Czech Society of Angiology and The Czech Society for Atherosclerosis, includes the European Venous Forum, European Society for Vascular Medicine and Vascular Independent Research and Education Organisation (VAS). The courses are designed as non-profit educational events and one of their aims is the education of future scientific and leading persons in the field of angiology in individual countries but also future representatives of the International Union of Angiology. The number of participants in the courses is limited to 30-35 persons, who are selected based on recommendations by vascular societies from individual countries or based on the assessment of applications sent directly by individual applicants. Persons interested in participation in the courses should not be complete beginners without any prior experience in the field. It is not only a one-time participation in an educational event to obtain a certificate. Those, who have attended the courses are invited to active participation within the International Union of Angiology and continuing post-gradual events are prepared for them in the years to come.
This year's 4th IUA summer international course for young vascular specialists took place at a traditional and time-proven place, Centrum Mariapoli in Prague-Vinor, between July 10-13. Like in previous years, this modern church facility, where the participants had their lodging as well, once again created excellent conditions for the meeting. Altogether 36 young medical doctors were involved in the course – angiologists, vascular surgeons or interventional radiologists – from 16 countries of 4 continents. The following states were represented: Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Croatia, India, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Greece, Slovakia, Serbia, the Ukraine, the USA and the Czech Republic. The participants covered their journey to Prague from their own resources; other costs of the event were covered by the organisers. Grants provided by pharmaceutical companies played an important role – this year the main partners were Alfa-Wassermann, Amgen Cardiovascular, Bayer, and Toshiba ultrasound examination devices were kindly provided by the Audioscan Company.
The programme of the course was certified by UEMS and accredited with 22 European credits. Apart from lectures, each day further included hands-on workshops, during which the participants, in small groups, had a chance to take part in practical training for ultrasound examination of the carotids, limb arteries and veins, and plethysmography. Within the course, there were also various contests for the participants.
Assoc. Prof. Piťha, the current General Secretary of the IUA, was a coordinator of the lecture programme as well as its active participant. An international team of vascular specialists, who accepted the invitation to participate in the lectures, included Prof. Nicolaides from London and Prof. Fareed from Loyola University in Chicago as the main protagonists. However, in addition, there were a number of other personalities – Dr. Kalodiki from London, Dr. Sweis from Loyola University in Chicago, Prof. Nikol from Hamburg, Prof. Jawien from Bydgoszcz University, Dr. Ježovnik from the University of Ljubljana, Prof. Rammaciotti from Sao Paulo and Dr. Thalhammer from Zurich. Domestic lecturers were also involved in the programme in a significant way – Assoc. Prof. Karetová, Prof. Kachlík, Dr. Heller and Dr. Piťhová from the faculties of medicine of Charles University in Prague and Assoc. Prof. Hirmerová from the faculty of medicine in Plzen. The participation of all the speakers and their lectures were their personal contribution to the successful running of the course and special thanks go to them for that. The high-level organisation of the course was taken care of by the AMCA agency, headed by Mr Jakub Uher, who works as a manager of the IUA Secretariat in Prague.
The concluding part of the programme included case reports by the course participants. The international expert jury comprising the present faculty of the course evaluated their professional level, quality of documentation and the method of presentation. In this international comparison, the lectures of Iryna Shevchenko from the Ukraine (PDF presentation) and Nader Hamada from Egypt (abstract) were equally assessed as the best. Further works by Katerina Poulou from Greece and Dan Tataru from Romania were respectively awarded joint second place. A lecture by Sophie Blaise from France was awarded as the third best lecture. The reward for the authors of both winning works is free registration to the World Congress of the IUA in Lyon in October 2016 and possible publication of case histories in the International Angiology journal.
The fourth year of the IUA summer courses was once again a very successful event. It took place in an atmosphere, created by all the participants as well as the lecturers, which cannot be experienced at congresses and other professional events. The enthusiasm and response to the event on the part of the participants has become a challenge for the organisers to continue in the tradition of these meetings and commence preparations for the next course, which will take place again in Prague in July 2017.
IUA Past President