Read the latest letter from ISUOG President, Prof. Tom Bourne, about upcoming ISUOG initiatives, events and resources.
So, December has rolled round again, and many countries are finding themselves dealing with another wave of Coronavirus infections. However, the imminent arrival of a number of vaccines is one of the few pieces of good news in 2020. Clearly, the logistical difficulties of vaccination will be huge, but there is at least hope now that we will have relative normality at some point next year both in the work place and socially. On the subject of COVID, ISUOG will be running a follow-up to its series of “COVID Webinars” in January to update everyone on management, how to best counsel patients and of course the vaccines themselves.
Another piece of good news is that on Sunday January 10th ISUOG will be running a free virtual meeting to celebrate its 30th anniversary “Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology – the current state of the art around the world”. For the first time, this meeting will start at times to suit countries in the Asia-Pacific region, move over to be convenient in the European time zone, and end at a time we hope will be accessible for the Americas. The result is more than 40 top speakers, sharing their expertise in a 15-hour program. So, wherever you are in the world, there will be a time when you can login without it being in the middle of the night, and connect and listen to some of the best speakers ISUOG has to offer. This will not be a sentimental look back at the past, but will feature the latest thinking across the entire spectrum of the use of ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
ISUOG’s first meeting took place on 7–10 January 1991. I am slightly horrified to admit that I am old enough to have been involved in the organization of the meeting as I was working as one of Stuart Campbell’s research fellows at the time. Naturally, Stuart booked the biggest most prestigious conference center in London and predicted the place would be packed out. He was of course proved right and the ISUOG meeting has subsequently filled meeting halls all round the world. Over the years, the program has evolved, and I think the recent Virtual Congress is a great example of how the society has always been keen to embrace innovation and bring new ideas into the meeting. There have been some great parties too – taking over the Natural History museum in London, the Moulin Rouge in Paris, a club in Berlin, Universal Studios in Los Angeles, the Navy Pier in Chicago, and the town hall in Vienna, to name a few.
The White Journal is also marking the occasion with a special anniversary issue. There are a series of opinion pieces from leaders in the field, an expanded number of academic papers, as well as the winner of the UOG cover image competition and a Gallery featuring the shortlisted images. It has been kindly brought to my attention that I am an author on an article published in the first issue of the journal as well as the one marking the 30th anniversary. It is hard to believe I have been scanning for that long and still find ultrasound images exciting and constantly see and learn new things. Back in the day, endometriosis was not diagnosed on ultrasound, Cesarean scar pregnancy was barely reported, ovarian masses were “complex” or simple and the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy was based on failing to see a pregnancy in the uterus. Thank goodness for the research fellows who push the boundaries and move the specialty forward. They are also the future of the society.
I also wanted to let you know that the 30th anniversary meeting will mark the start of the ISUOG series of monthly educational webinars that will run throughout 2021 covering a number of key topics, so look out for these on the website. For greater depth, the education team is just finalizing an expanded program of educational courses next year; these will include the successful fetal cardiology series as well as new courses across a range of topics.
Finally, I am aware that many will already have heard the sad news about the death of Dr Philippe Jeanty. Philippe leaves a huge legacy to the ultrasound community in general. At ISUOG, he inspired much of the outreach work that the society carries out. Roberto Romero will pay tribute to Philippe at the 30th anniversary meeting in January.
It remains in the December newsletter to wish you all a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful and hopefully a relatively vaccinated, COVID-free New Year.
Prof. Tom Bourne,