To the beat of drums and the blare of trumpets played by a uniformed 20-plus-member marching band, London welcomed participants to the 32nd EAU Annual Congress (EAU17), the second annual congress held in the United Kingdom since 2002.
“Whatever happens, meetings like this are vitally important since it is at these occasions that knowledge and professional links are developed, and at these events ideas take seed and take hold: the important ideas that will later lead to significant work and progress in medicine,” said Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s Medical Director and Commissioner of the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI).
Keogh noted the manifold challenges healthcare systems around the world are facing as he threw the challenge that physicians need to do better by strengthening their links across disciplines. EAU Secretary General Prof. Chris Chapple reiterated Keogh’s statements when he mentioned that the EAU has recently earned a reference network status with the European Commission.
The Opening Ceremony also highlighted this year’s awardees with Prof. Paul Abrams (GB) taking the EAU’s top honour, the Willy Gregoir Medal 2017. Also recognized were Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson (SE) who received the Frans Debruyne Lifetime Achievement Award, Prof. Christian Gratzke winner of the Crystal Matula, Dr. Riccardo Autorino (US) who won the Hans Marberger Award, Mr. Richard Turner-Warwick (GB) awarded with the Innovators Urology Award, and Dr. Masaki Shiota (JP) who received the Prostate Cancer Research Award. Recipients of this year’s Honorary Member titles were Professors Shin Egawa (JP), Tomas Hanus (CZ), Vito Pansadoro (IT), Eduardo Solsona (ES) and Dr. Patrick Walsh (US).
“A challenge for urology is to carry the quality of European urology to the developing countries, and the EAU is doing a great job in starting that process,” said Abrams. Asked what advice he would give to young urologists, he replied: “Decide on your sub-specialty and pursue it intently.” Gratzke, one of the youngest awardees, on the other hand, commented that young urologists should focus on topics “they’re truly interested in and not what others think is relevant.”