The 9th edition of the South Eastern European Meeting (SEEM), which took place from 1-3 November in Thessaloniki in Greece, had a different format than the previous editions. The chairman of the EAU Regional Office, Prof. Bob Djavan, introduced many new features to the regional meetings – most of them directed mainly at young urologists and residents.
Among these new elements are hands-on training sessions, an ESU course, and a country competition in which young urologists from several countries in the region compete against each other to see who has the greatest presentation skills and who can formulate the best responses to the critical questions from the judges. Essential in all of these features is the personal tutoring of and helpful comments from the expert urologists who attended the meeting.
In his opening and closing remarks, Prof. Djavan stressed the importance of educating young urologists in the South-Eastern part of Europe and identifying the new talents who can play an important role in future activities of the EAU. When asked about the situation of young urologists in the South-Eastern region, one of the chairmen of the meeting, Prof. George Moutzouris, mentioned the difficulties many of them face.
“In South Eastern Europe it can be very difficult for young urologists to find a job because of the financial crisis, which has hit Greece particularly hard. I see that many residents are losing their enthusiasm: they have to deal with the consequences of the crisis as well as the aftermath of the wars in the region and they are disappointed,” said Moutzouris.
He added: “The importance of SEEM is that it gives residents and young urologists the chance to meet with experts and to gain valuable experiences. Having attended this meeting will hopefully increase their interest to participate in future activities and it will enable them to see the opportunities they have.”
With more than 550 attendants from the entire region and beyond, this first edition of the renewed SEEM turned out to be a great success. According to Moutzouris, the meeting enabled regional expert urologists to gather and share ideas: “By collaborating with our neighbours, we can create platforms of communication in order to enhance scientific progress in the whole region.”
A detailed report on the 9th SEEM will be published in the December/January edition of European Urology Today