International collaboration is more important than ever, and we hear from Prof Milan Profant about a collaboration that grew out of the very successful IFOS meeting in Paris in 2017.
IFOS has developed a new philosophy regarding how to organise education and training for ENT specialists in emerging regions. First of all, the IFOS Educational Committee (EC) has been completely reconstructed to achieve these goals. The EC has launched an enormous volume of educational material to be available for free on the new IFOS website (ifosworld.org).
In order to run educational courses in the emerging regions, IFOS had to establish what regions these were:
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Central and South America
- South East Oceania
- Central Asia
- Gulf region
- West-South Asia
Step by step, IFOS will organise educational activities in each of these regions. The goal is not only to train trainees and specialists but also to educate and prepare local trainers to continue with the training courses on their own on a local basis. The financial covering of these activities comes from the IFOS budget and medical industry contributions. Local universities and regional congresses provide rooms and technical support. First, we identify suitable university centres with optimal conditions to run such courses, or regional congresses to which the course can be attached.
One thing of particular importance is a local representative of ORL, usually a head of an ORL HNS department, who is aware of local and regional conditions in order to bring in colleagues from several surrounding countries to participate in the IFOS course. To this date, we have cooperated with:
- University of Zimbabwe, Harare
- Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City
- University of South Africa, Cape Town
- University of UAE, Dubai
- Pan-American Congress, Lima
Limited budget allows IFOS to organise two-to-three activities a year fairly distributed among the geographical regions, as well as subspecialty topics. In future, IFOS will call major regional ORL societies to take responsibility for these courses and to nominate guarantors and teachers for regional courses. These are already principles for the head and neck course in Sub-Saharan Africa where the guarantor is the ORL Society of RSA and Cape Town University. Similarly, for the courses in South East Asia, Oceania and Vietnam, we will ask the Japanese and Korean ORL society for help and support.
IFOS also supports international subspecialty congresses to upgrade them into the World Congress in the given subspecialty in cooperation with IFOS as it does not want to create new congresses, considering the vast amount that already exist. The contribution of IFOS is to bring respected lecturers and topics to the congress and distribute information among the national ORL societies. The following international congresses have already been organised:
2013: IFOS Congress in Seoul, Korea.
2014: World Congress in Head and Neck, IFHNOS Congress, New York, USA.
2015: World Congress in Rhinology, International Rhinology Society Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
2015: World Congress in Otology in Niigata, Japan. (PolitzerSociety Congress)
2016: World Congress of Audiology, Vancouver, Canada.
2017: IFOS Congress, Paris, France.
2018: World Congress in Head and Neck, IFHNOS Congress, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
These are the ways in which IFOS is developing training and educational activities as well as with the traditional IFOS World Congress, which takes place every four years.