In the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary to develop a variety of online formats, which have rapidly achieved a pleasingly high degree of acceptance. However, it has also become clear that the majority prefer a face-to-face event. In this respect, we currently intend to offer a pre-congress event exclusively online. Then, in the following week there will be a three-day face-to-face congress. The events at the face-to-face week will also be partly conducted in a hybrid format. COVID has given digitisation a real boost and this has also changed the congress landscape. We want to take up this issue again next year and perhaps develop it even further. If you ask our young surgeons, this new flexibility in shaping congresses seems to have been long overdue. In this respect, the pandemic might also have contributed something positive.
In addition to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie (German Society of Surgery), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie (DGAV, or German Society for General and Visceral Surgery) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kinderchirurgie (German Society for Children’s Surgery) also traditionally enrich our congress with their annual conferences. In addition, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gefäßchirurgie und Gefäßmedizin (DGG, or German Society for Vascular Surgery and Vascular Medicine), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Thoraxchirurgie (DGT, or German Society for Thorax Surgery) and once again, also the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Plastische, rekonstruktive und ästhetische Chirurgie (DGPRÄC, or German Society for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) will be holding their spring conferences at the joint congress. Furthermore, the Berufsverband der Deutschen Chirurgie (BDC, or German Surgeons’ Association) and the Berufsverband für Pflegeberufe (German Nurses’ Association) and the emergency services will be attending with their own programme points. The other member societies of the DGCH, which hold their annual conferences outside the Surgeons’ Congress, will actively contribute to shaping the programme for next year’s congress. The attractiveness of the Surgeons’ Congress for all member societies is primarily due to the organisation of interdisciplinary sessions and finding common ground, despite all the different specialisms.
One now traditional highlight of the DCK is the organ donation sponsored run, which we want to hold in the afternoon of the last day of the congress. The virtual form of participation, which was also established as a result of the pandemic, has now reached a number of participants many times that of the run on-site. Over the past few years this event has gratifyingly developed into a DGCH brand, keeping the issue of organ donation in the public eye with a welcome response.
For students, the prospects forum of the DGCH is once again organising its own programme day and a variety of sessions. In previous years, students have always greatly appreciated the brief insights into the varied facets of surgery that they gain at the DCK.
One issue that is very special to me is the increased international orientation of the German Surgeons’ Congress. Particularly in light of the current political situation, a medical congress should also serve as an international platform for communication and interaction.
The guest nation next year will be Sweden. The Swedish Surgeons’ Society has already accepted our invitation and is looking forward to a lively dialogue with us. This will not just be about surgical matters, but also issues such as equality and the work-life balance in particular.
I would now like to thank our partners from industry, who have remained loyal to us under difficult conditions over the last two years. We are also counting on their support next year and hope they will also benefit from the face-to-face event format once again.
Finally, I would like to cordially invite you, including on behalf of the presidents of all the professional societies of the DGCH, to Munich for the 140th German Surgeons’ Congress in 2023, which we want to hold at the congress centre there as a face-to-face event at the end of April. This will once again be preceded by a pre-congress event in the online format from 17-19 April.
Together with my team and the presidents of the DGCH member societies, I hope we will be able to offer you a stimulating time at the congress in Munich next year. We hope we will be able to welcome many of you in person to the 140th German Surgeons Congress in Munich.
Until then, I would like to wish you all the best and stay healthy!
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Seekamp