The biennial ESPO meetings have established themselves as the premier forum for paediatric otolaryngologists to share their knowledge and research. Hardly has ESPO Stockholm finished, and plans are already underway for ESPO 2020. Jean-Michel Triglia and Richard Nicollas and tell us what is in store for us.

The European Society of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology (ESPO) was founded in 1994 succeeding to the European Working Group in Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology (EWGPO). It aims to promote the quality of care of children with otorhinolaryngological disorders within Europe and is involved in scientific, educational and charitable activities. The biennial ESPO Congress is the largest paediatric otorhinolaryngology meeting in the world, held in Europe every two years but with speakers and delegates drawn from around the globe.

Aerial view of the Palais du Pharo and Marseilles’ downtown.

The next ESPO meeting will be held in the city of Marseille on 23-26 May 2020 in the prestigious Le Palais du Pharo. The Aix Marseille University, the Medical School of Marseille and its department of paediatric otorhinolaryngology will be the hosts of this meeting. At the present time, this department includes six full-time practitioners, two fellows and four residents. The organisation of this meeting is the collaborative effort of this department and the most important French ENT and paediatric societies - AFOP (French Association of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology), SFORL (French Society of Otorhinolaryngology), Collège Français d’ORL et chirurgie cervico-faciale (French Academy of ENT head and neck surgery), SFP (French Society of Pediatrics).

“Transfers, Bridges and Frontiers is a theme that aims to address the evolution of this specialty and how it has repeatedly overcome all difficulties and challenges with a multidisciplinary approach.”

Otology, rhinology, laryngology, and head and neck surgery are not only interconnected in this specialty, but also form links with other fields including infectiology, genetics, communication, cerebral plasticity, transitions from childhood to adulthood and also technological transitions. These concepts form the basis of the theme of this congress: ‘Transfers, Bridges and Frontiers in Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology’. The field of paediatric otorhinolaryngology has undergone incredible changes over the last decades, which have revolutionised our standard practice in the clinical and academic fields. Transfers, Bridges and Frontiers (TBF) could summarise some of the more recent advances and challenges facing this field. It is a theme that aims to address the evolution of this specialty and how it has repeatedly overcome all difficulties and challenges with a multidisciplinary approach. Furthermore, themes of TBF will explore our recent successes and look at the current boundaries, links and limits. Similarly, these themes will place our specialty in an excellent position to overcome current challenges and to discover new ones.

The six full-time practitioners. (L-R): Anne Farinetti, Eric Moreddu, Claire Le Treut-Gay, Richard Nicollas, Jean-Michel Triglia and Stéphane Roman.

Marseille is one of the top southern European cities in terms of business and for international business, it is the crossroad for trade with the Mediterranean. The city of Marseille attracts more and more companies, thus boosting its economy in an unprecedented way. A 660 million euro investment in four years has resulted in huge developments in all economic sectors including urban regeneration, transport and freight traffic, culture, tourism, conventions and fairs.

The number of congress days has doubled over the last few years, with around 40% of conventions in the medical field. The city of Marseille invested 60 million euros for the enhancement of the convention centres which are located in the city centre. Marseille offers top accommodation facilities, and transport links are unrivalled, with the third largest airport outside Paris handling over eight million passengers a year. By train, Marseille welcomes 200 connections including 15 daily high speed trains (TGV) to Paris.

Picture of a ‘calanque’ near Marseille.

During a trip to Marseille in September 1852, the Prince-President Louis Napoléon Bonaparte wished to own a residence overlooking the water. The city of Marseille purchased the Pharo plateau and offered it to Louis Napoléon Bonaparte to thank him for his involvement in a land transaction with the State. The first stone of the imperial residence was laid down on 18 August, 1858, on Imperial Day. The Pharo Estate was left to the Empress Eugénie who donated it to the City of Marseille. In 1904, it was converted into a school of medicine and since 1997, The Palais du Pharo has been dedicated to hosting congresses, conventions and conferences. It is also ideally located at 10-15 minutes’ walk from downtown, and with 500 rooms at less than 10 minutes’ walk.

Palais du Pharo seen from the Museum of the Mediterranean cultures (MUCEM).

ESPO 2020 will be a ‘paediatric masterclass meeting’, with world experts and a range of medical activities, including lectures, round tables, debates, instructional courses, workshops and collaborative sessions with international representatives in the field. Similarly, we will ensure that a special effort be made so that free oral sessions and poster presentations can take place, giving plenty of opportunities for delegates to present their research. Simulation sessions will also take place at the meeting and will be open to everyone interested. We are working hard to organise the best meeting possible and hope that all of you interested in paediatric otolaryngology will join us to make it a memorable event.

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CONTRIBUTOR
Jean-Michel Triglia (Prof)

La Timone Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Marseille, Aix Marseille University, France.

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CONTRIBUTOR
Richard Nicollas

La Timone Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Marseille, Aix Marseille University, France.

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