25th Eupsa Congress
Welcome to European Paediatric Surgeons’ Association
EUPSA is one of the largest Paediatric Surgical Association of individuals worldwide.
Our main aims:
Promote high standards of surgical care for neonatal, paediatric and adolescent patients throughout Europe
Support research, education, collaboration and training in paediatric surgery
President letter June 16th, 2023
I am Paolo De Coppi, NIHR and Nuffield Professor of Pediatric Surgery and a Consultant Neonatal and Pediatric Surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I am honored and humbled to have been elected President of EUPSA. I will dedicate the next 2 years to work on the following areas:
- Bring a closer, more collaborative European Pediatric Surgery:
EUPSA is the largest Pediatric Surgical Association of individuals worldwide but still combines different standards of practice when considering topics such as centralization, training, and involvement in academic work. While I have been delighted to work at GOSH since 2005 and to lead Academic Surgery since 2013, I have always considered myself a European citizen and a European surgeon. I did my medical school and the early part of my training in Padua (Italy), and completed further training in pediatric surgery at the The Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam. I have actively collaborated with the Hôpital Universitaire Necker – Enfants Malades, Paris, France. I was in the board of The Sophia Foundation at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital for 5 years, and I have been an honorary professor at the Department of Development and Regeneration at the KU Leuven, Belgium for the p years. I firmly believe that at this time of political divisions we have to work even more closely together to avoid that those divisions affect ultimately the children we care for. EUPSA could be the gatekeeper for pediatric surgery in Europe and an example to others internationally.
- Families and patients’ associations:
We know that the best advocate for our patients is their parents, caregivers, and families. In order to maintain and promote high clinical standards of surgical care for pediatric and adolescent patients in all European States, it is our responsibility to validate our approaches with patients’ representatives. I have been a patron for CDH-UK and TOFS and for the past few years and I have enjoyed interacting with those associations within ERNICA. I envisage EUPSA will interact closely with families associations, which could help shaping the future pediatric surgery. Being their advocate would be the best way to demonstrate families we are here to stand for them and their children.
- Discover, disseminate and apply new knowledge:
As pediatric surgeon, I dedicated my career to search for better, life-long solutions for the replacement of missing organs and tissues. I started to be interested in organ tissue engineering and cellular therapy as a fellow at Boston Children’s, USA. During that time, I could enjoy the interaction with other academic surgeons such as Judah Folkman and Antony Atala and have learned that is possible to combine clinical and research work at an excellent level. There are unfortunately still very limited possibilities for academic surgeons in Europe. Research has been essential to develop innovative clinical programs. As President of EUPSA, I will certainly serve the organization creating links with international leading pediatric surgical centers to help establishing a wider community of pediatric surgeons which dedicate their activities both to research and clinical work. EUPSA has the unique opportunity to increase the profile and the value of the research done by their members with a continue emphasis on excellence. We can work on 2 directions: i) making sure the standards are adopted widely within Europe; ii) making sure innovative treatments are introduced using designed trials based on strong research. Thanks to interaction with other organizations such as ERNICA, EUPSA will need to continue working on registries for the evaluation of treatments adopted on rare conditions and large scale multi-national studies which could collect data and help designing future guidelines.
- Training the future generation:
There is no doubt that our most important duty is to make sure the future generation of pediatric surgeon is better than us. Unfortunately, training still varies among European States ad even among different centers within the same Country. I have seen the value of having logbooks, regular trainee reviews and entry and final exams for the last 15 years in UK. Beside creating excellent surgeons, we have also to make sure we can offer average standards which can lead to the best possible care. To maximize this aspect, EUPSA will continue on publishing guidelines which are the results of consensus conferences. Furthermore, we have the responsibility to train the next leaders in pediatric surgery. As international leader in the field, EUPSA should closely interact with APSA and other international organizations to design the future of pediatric surgery. This role is particularly important when interacting with raising pediatric surgical programs in China, India and Africa. We should encourage visiting trainees from and to those countries and should fundraise to obtain EUPSA fellowships aimed at the circulation of trainees (1-year fellowship) and shorter visits to more senior surgeons. I have experience in designing and promoting those fellowship within GOSH: they have become very popular and they create a legacy to the place of visit facilitating future interactions. I firmly believe we should work together to secure a better future for our children.
I am honored and humble start as EUPSA President. I always been impressed by the previous Presidents and I know how challenging this role can be. The ethos for excellence and the push for innovation of EUPSA have been inspiring my work for almost 15 years. I believe this position will give me the opportunity to serve a great organization, and to drive further both clinical and research EUPSA commitments, extend the impact of work on the wider community and continue to learn for better serving our patients and their families.
Paolo De Coppi