Newsletter for ASGBI report Spring 2004

Centurian Wildlife The Association continues its role as the focus for endocrine surgeons in the UK. That role has progressively expanded with increased engagement in education, audit and research . We held a second one day Masterclass at the English College which was oversubscribed and next year’s will be held at the Edinburgh College on April 5th and 6th ( details from l.judge ). The Annual meeting in Leeds, efficiently organised by Mark Lansdown , was well supported confirming our view that it was right to move the meeting to September to avoid clashes with the ASGBI annual meeting. We were pleased to have members of the patients’ group, the British Thyroid Foundation at the meeting which was, as ever, well attended by our European colleagues though we were sad to note that our most prolific and entertaining contributor Charles Proye (click to see picture) from Lille will be retiring next year and this was his last meeting. Our relationship with Europe currently features large on the agenda, firstly because of the formation of a European Society of Endocrine Surgeons whose first meeting will be next May. The year 2004 will therefore be a busy one for conference-going endocrine surgeons as in addition the IAES meeting is to be held in Sweden in the Spring having been cancelled from Bangkok because of the SARS outbreak. Until now the BAES has effectively been the European association and we had embraced the notion of having our annual meeting in Europe on alternate years. Thus next year’s Annual Meeting will be held in Lund in Sweden on September 16th and 17th 2004. We anticipate that members will find it a pleasant and accessible venue thanks to the new bridge linking Sweden with Denmark which makes Lund quickly accessible from Copenhagen airport and affording the opportunity to stay on in Copenhagen at the end of the meeting. Depending on the success of that meeting and the effects of the ESES the Association will need to take a view as to whether to retrench as a primarily British Association or continue to position ourselves as a European body. The membership will of course be consulted about this. The second European issue concerns the "European Exam", essentially an exit exam in Endocrine Surgery overseen by the European Board of Surgery. Although this is not currently relevant for most British and Irish trainees it may become so with changes in surgical training here. In relation to the exam we are maintaining the typical, and for the Europeans infuriating, British stance of involvement without engagement! Because the examination is conducted in English the Board is keen to have some examiners whose first language is English and we are encouraging younger endocrine consultants to sit the endocrine surgery examination so that they can become examiners. We will be contacting likely volunteers but anyone else who is interested should contact me. Potential examiners will be able to sit the exam in Pisa in May 2004 or in Lund in September 2004. Further information about the exam is available at

The national Audit continues to accrue valuable data but sadly not all who should contribute their results are doing so. Nevertheless we anticipate that the need to prove competence for the purposes of revalidation may persuade them in due course of the value of a national peer audit.

Nationally about 20% of thyroidectomies are done by ENT surgeons and we remain committed to a policy of welcoming them into the Association even though they do not practice the whole range of Endocrine Surgery.

The revised National Guidelines will be available to the membership this Winter for their comments prior to reissue in the Spring.

Richard Collins demitted office as President in September and Zig Krukowski was chosen as the new President Elect. We are grateful to Richard for his enthusiastic presidency and in particular for his role in arranging generous financial support from the Hon. Charles Harris for the Audit project and the research Fellowships. We wish Richard well in his time on the Council of the English College.

Any queries about the Association or its activities can be made to Richard Bliss the Honorary Secretary at Richard.Bliss or to me Anthony.Young .

Tony Young

President, BAES