The 3rd IUA (International Union of Angiology) Course for Young Vascular Specialists took place in Prague from 18th to 22nd July 2015.
This event was launched three years ago by the International Union of Angiology in cooperation with the Czech Society of Angiology and intended for young physicians under 35 years old who have been involved in treatments of vascular diseases, either in terms of internal medicine, surgical or any other medical specialty. As in the previous years the event was situated at the modern facility called Centrum Mariapoli in Prague-Vinoř which offers excellent conditions for the meeting as well as accommodation for the participants.
The IUA summer courses have been designed as educational events with a specific aim. Apart from increasing and improving the knowledge, their goal is to educate the future scientists and leaders in the field of angiology in individual countries, as well as the future representatives of the International Union of Angiology. A specific feature is that the course does not involve the mere listening and lecture presentations, but both participants and the international team of lecturers spend time together throughout the course and form one group which offers environment for informal discussions and formation of mutual friendly ties that may endure to the future.
The number of participants is limited for 30-35 people who are selected according to recommendations of angiology societies in individual countries, or based on reviews of applications sent directly by the applicants themselves. 33 young vascular specialists in total from 17 countries and 3 continents attended this year's event. The following states were represented: Saudi Arabia, China, Singapore, the USA, Hungary, Ireland, Montenegro, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Serbia, Italy, Croatia, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Travel costs were paid by the participants themselves; however other expenses were covered by the organisers. Grants endowed from the pharmaceutical companies played a major role - this year's main partners were Alfa-Wassermann and Bayer; Toshiba ultrasound devices for the workshops were kindly provided by Audioscan.
The course programme was UEMS certified and rated with a corresponding number of European credits. It included theoretical lectures, practical demonstrations of assessment methods and workshops where participants were able to undergo practice of ultrasound examination of arteries and veins. Even various competitions among participants were part of the course. The best results of a test assessing knowledge of vascular diseases showed Dr. Jakub Dítě from the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague.
The lecture programme was created under the lead of Prof. Nicolaides from London and Prof. Fareed from Chicago and its coordinator was Dr. Piťha from Prague who is currently IUA's Secretary General. The course was organised by the AMCA agency, namely Jakub Uher who has been IUA's Administrative Secretary since January this year. The international team of vascular specialists who accepted the offer to lecture included Dr. Kalodiki from London, Prof. Biller and Prof. Bouchard from Loyola University in Chicago, Prof. Antignani from Rome, Prof. Jawien from University in Bydgoszcz, Dr. Ježovnik from University of Ljubljana and Dr. Thalhammer from University of Zurich. Domestic university departments were represented by Dr. Karetová, Dr. Kachlík, Dr. Heller and Dr. Piťhová from the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University Prague, by Dr. Kašpar from University of Pardubice, Dr. Hirmerová from the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Pilsen and Dr. Musil from the Faculty of Medicine of Palacky University in Olomouc. Participation of all lecturers and their performance were their personal contribution to the course success which deserves special thanks.
In the final part of the course the participants had an opportunity to share own presentations, and the international jury consisting of the lecturing professionals evaluated their expertise, slides and presentation skills. Most contributions were of high quality and as the best was regarded a lecture by Dr. Pavla Bernardová from Frýdlant Hospital, Czech Republic, who presented an interesting case study of a patient with aortitis due to Salmonella. The winning author was awarded a registration at the World Congress of the International Union for Angiology in October 2016 in Lyon and an opportunity to publish her case study in the International Angiology journal.
The third year of IUA courses followed on the tradition of previous meetings and was once again a successful event. Due to its positive response the preparations for the next course have already started and the event will be held in Prague again in July 2016.
Dr Karel Roztočil
IUA Past President