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Editorial from David Dejour
I am delighted to speak to you as ESSKA’s new President.
ESSKA as a growing society has a need to be structured like any large company, even if its purpose is definitely that of a not-for-profit organisation.
The priority of our Society’s development is how to lead growth and how to take it in the right direction. The best course of action is to commission an external audit and to try to find which strategic orientations will allow us to find and understand new trends and develop them to satisfy our members. Commercial business organisations are used to these challenges. The models they are using are numerous and efficient and one of them is called a SWOT analysis (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats).
In 2010 ESSKA took this direction with its first “Strategic Meeting” where a SWOT was conducted by a professional external consultant. This initiative changed in a very effective way the objectives ESSKA had. It was also a mindset change for the leadership of ESSKA because for the first time we were using not our “medical knowledge and skills” but a business model.
ESSKA is like a huge machine. We are tapping into the enthusiasms and the spasmodic energies of many people. We have the Board, and Sections and Committees. We have Editorial Boards for KSSTA and JEO, and their associated editors and reviewers. We have Programme Chairs for our Congress, and Scientific Committee. We have ESSKA Teachers, and ESSKA Teaching Centres, and ESSKA Faculty, all of them willing to share their knowledge through meetings, courses, and publications. There are so many people! But all of them are trying—in their many different ways—to make our society better.
To organise and manage this huge working machine we have a headquarters staff who are totally dedicated to the success of our Society. They have the professionalism in some areas that we, doctors, do not have. This complementarity is definitely the key to success and also the key to make some ideas (we all have some terrific ideas!) become real. The gap between ideas and reality is often huge.
ESSKA holds a Strategic Meeting every two years, at the beginning of the presidential mandate. This meeting sets the direction for the Society. The last one was successful in producing the plan for the next four to six years. We will, therefore, continue to consolidate the projects of our current strategic plan. It has three main points:
The first is Publishing Strategy and development. We aim at consolidating KSSTA, one of the top ten journals in orthopedic medicine, by adding a partnership programme with some national societies; we will work on enhancing the JEO which needs more visibility in the field of basic sciences. ESSKA provides numerous books and the coordination will be more organized to allow some homogeneity with the Sections, Committees and also with other scientific societies to avoid any unnecessary overlapping. Finally, the decision to launch a third journal has been taken and the scope, the name and the model are being worked on.
The second target is the Core Curriculum. The diversity of Europe is a strength and a weakness. We face some difficulties agreeing what should be mandatory education for a young orthopedic surgeon.
ESSKA has recently launched a series of ‘All About…’ Courses. Their aim is to bring all participants ‘up-to-speed’, within a specific field and within two days. If a participant completes the full set of courses —knee, shoulder, ankle, hip, elbow and wrist— he/she will have reached a required standard, a sort of unofficial certification. These courses will also be made available to our members, through ESSKA’s Academy.
This is another advantage of ESSKA membership: whether you are a ‘young thruster’ and eager to learn, or an ‘old-hand’ who needs to update your knowledge, it is all there for you, and online.
To compliment the technical aspect, as provided by the cadaver courses, we shall be adding a theoretical aspect. We are proud of having gone this far, but eventually we will need to go further: an efficient and practical certification is probably the only way to guarantee quality-of-treatment.
Finally, the last target will be improving our Leadership. Our target will be to improve ourselves, as leaders. We have to be trained to lead. Only then we can make best use of our splendid and energetic volunteers, who are the real strength of ESSKA. We do this, as doctors, with our own patients. It is an intuitive skill we develop, through long practice. But to serve ESSKA properly, we need to invest some time and money. During September’s Strategic Meeting, the ESSKA leadership shall attend a special training programme by one of the world’s leading business schools, Lausanne’s IMD (International Institute for Management Development). This should make us better able to serve the ESSKA Community.
These are our plans, and we hope this will give you something to work for, something to engage your energies and feel yourself part of the ESSKA Family.
Thank you to YOU “ESSKA members” for the trust you have kindly granted me for these two years to come.
2016-2018 Romain Seil
2014-2016 Matteo Denti
2012-2014 João Espregueira-Mendes