Dear friends of ESMINT, Dear colleagues,
We have just been through the second year of pestilence. Last year’s excitement and heroism in fighting the pandemic has cooled down and been replaced for most of us by an unnerving uphill battle against the virus.
This monotony was interrupted by some glorious moments. Our 2021 ESMINT Congress was one of those. Many of us were able to meet there again for the first time after a long separation. And the late summer days of the Côte d’Azur were the perfect place and time. While the presentations were as sharp, and the discussions as gripping, as ever, I noticed something else. There was a certain sense of belonging to a community, a sense of trust and even gratefulness to be together again, just like in the old days. We appreciated what we have all the more, as a neurointerventional community with ESMINT as our professional home and as old friends. Despite the ever-increasing role of webinars and social networks in our environment, they do not fully replace the real thing, and that’s not just because the wine is missing.
I was glad to see that our ESMINT fellowship program could be maintained, even during the difficult time last year. Nevertheless, we were pushed into new ways of thinking and new methods of collaboration. One example is ESMINT’s e-Fellowship that has just started its second season. Trainees from all of Europe can connect via online streaming with some of Europe’s largest and most admired neurointerventional centers. This method has turned out to be a valuable additional path to gaining procedural knowledge by observing different practices. Until we can meet again at our wonderful venues of Oxford and Prague with their ancient universities, our training courses ECMINT and EXMINT are running smoothly online, as are their respective detailed examinations, both written and oral. This transition, with its infinite number of tiny, ugly obstacles, was organized and managed by the efforts of our members inside or outside of the Executive Committees. I am very grateful to our partners from industry who have stood firmly by our side, even in times that were also difficult for them. This is equally true for all of ESMINT’s other initiatives and our ever-growing collaborations with our sister societies around the planet. I am as grateful as I am puzzled to see how this is all functioning in an organization consisting mainly of amateurs, supported by a very engaged yet actually small management team in our head office. And I use the word amateur in the most positive way – as a person who voluntarily engages in a pursuit using the little spare time that neurointerventions leaves.
I am looking forward to all the fascinating developments in neurointerventions in 2022. I am looking forward to ESMINT’s further progress. I am looking forward to meeting many of you in person soon. But before all of that happens, on behalf of the entire ESMINT board, I wish every one of you a fantastic start to a happy, healthy and successful 2022.