As new RBSS’ President, I firstly would like to congratulate our Past President, Dirk Ysebaert as well as the RBSS Board for their work which led to a successful edition of the 24th Belgian Surgical Week dedicated to the theme “A fit Surgeon for a fit Patient”.
The 2020 Covid pandemic having negatively impacted the attendance at our annual meeting, this year however the number of attendees equalled that of 2019, showing a progressive return to normal life.
Our next annual congress being the 25th edition of the BSW, will be held in the Ostend Thermae Palace from 25th to 27th April 2024 with as theme
The RBSS board wants to inform the RBSS membership that the High Council of Specialists and General Practitioners (HRSH) wants to conduct a survey among the various actors involved in the training of general surgeons.
Four new titles in surgery should see the light (Visceral, Thoracic, Vascular, Cardiac) to replace the (single) title in General Surgery, which will eventually disappear.
One of the tasks of the the High Council of Specialists and General Practitioners (Hoge Raad/Conseil Supérieur) consists of advising the Minister of Health on the establishment of criteria for the recognition of specialists, general practitioners, supervisors and heads of departments.
The HRSH says there is a need for additional training in many surgical "subspecialties" after obtaining the Level 2 title. This falls outside the regulated and monitored framework and extends the duration of the training. The HRSH also refers to the need to acquire a more in-depth specialization due to the increasing medical and technological complexity. It is therefore the intention to create new level 2 (= "specialization") titles, namely those for :
visceral surgery (including endocrine and breast surgery)
The idea is to use the same methodology as for internal medicine: a three-year truncus communis, followed by an evaluation by a validation committee to ensure that the skills acquired are sufficient.
The above mentioned new titles are also used within a European context and should facilitate further training and professional migration. Currently, a surgeon with a Belgian degree in "General surgical" cannot apply directly for recognition in eg. visceral surgery on a 1:1 basis in a country where one of the above mentioned subdiscpline recognitions are already used instead of "General Surgery", leaving the candidate to proof his/hers professional proficiency in the specific surgical subdisciplin instead of relying on the specialization title.
These draft recommendations will then be submitted to the High Council (HR/CS), which also will give additional advice on the proportionality test. This announcement, and the opportunity to provide feedback, is in preparation for this proportionality test.
You can report any reaction to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org with the topic “Preparation for proportionality test level 2 titles visceral, vascular, thoracic and cardiac surgery” before April 1, 2022.
During the next months I have the honour to endorse the role of President of the RBSS. Our society has the goal to improve, stimulate and promote surgical activity among surgeons and residents. In this line, the theme of the Belgian Surgical Week 2022 will be
prof.dr. Arnaud De Roover
Expanding the Field of Surgery
We are increasingly faced with technological innovations challenging our current practice. Until now the trend was to progressively limit the scope of surgical indications at the benefit of other medical specialties. Surgeons have however a unique knowledge of anatomy and a technical expertise that strongly supports their legitimacy to integrate those new treatment modalities in their arsenal. This underlines the need to rethink residents and postgraduate surgical training. Professional surgical organizations have also an important role to play to avoid a future where our role would be limited to rescue surgery.
Increasing the field of surgery depends on surgical innovations but also on new indications provided for example by new neoadjuvant modalities.
This year’s congress will allow to make a review of those advances and hopefully lead to include them in our surgical field. So, keep the date! The BSW will take place in Ostend from 5-7 May 2022.
The future of the society can count on the dynamism of its sections and the affiliated societies that I warmly thank in the name of all our members. I encourage you to consult the RBSS web page to consult the program of their activities.
Looking forward to meeting you at one of the future events of the society,
We are very sad to inform you that Dr. Nicolas Duchateau passed away last week, barely 30 years old.
Nicolas was a very talented surgical resident who has been fighting a terrible disease for a decade. He fought a battle he couldn’t win but he did it with incredible determination and dignity, chasing his dream to become a surgeon.
Just like everybody who knew him we will stay inspired by his courage in adversity, his positivity and the way he embraced life. For him the glass was always half full.
We wish his wife, his parents and his sisters a lot of strength.
The Board of the RBBS is aware of the conflict between the trainees and the umbrella organisation of hospitals concerning the disparity in remuneration, working conditions and the incomplete social status of trainees.
The board fully supports their claim for a uniform employment contract within all training hospitals, for a correct social status and for sufficient time allocated to education and training.
To be selected for training for whatever branch of medicine is an achievement, reflecting skills and commitment. Our young colleagues will be the key players in our future health care system. We need to take care of them. They deserve to be properly trained in the correct conditions.
On behalf of the RBSS board,
dr. Charles de Gheldere prof.dr. Dirk Ysebaert RBSS president Secretary-General