As reported in the last issue of Vascular News, the results of the European Society for Vascular Surgery ballot are now available. In response to the online questionnaire, 202 members contributed their opinions. Vascular News asked ESVS secretary Michael Horrocks what society’s next steps would be?
The ESVS has established a Strategy Group to consider the future direction of the society, which will take into consideration the responses to the online ballot. According to Horrocks, the strategic review will take the form of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the ESVS as a whole. Members of council and other members of the ESVS with an interest have been invited to participate in a strategy meeting to go through the SWOT analysis, to be held prior to the society’s general meeting and the general assembly in Istanbul. Horrocks said that preliminary analysis had already been carried out, although at the time of Vascular News going to press this had not yet been circulated to the relevant ESVS members. The Strategy Group will look at ways to promote the ESVS, increase its impact on a wider audience and make it more attractive to the next generation of vascular surgeons. The review will also consider the position of vascular technologists in relation to the ESVS.
New endovascular meeting
The results of the online ballot revealed that there was a feeling that the society needs to tackle the endovascular issue. Horrocks said that the ESVS was addressing this and that “a separate meeting, in association with CIRSE, is planned for next year. He was reluctant to reveal further information, but said that details will be issued shortly through the ESVS. He explained that this meeting would satisfy the demands of the subgroup of vascular surgeons with an interest in the endovascular scene.
Vascular News then asked Horrocks, if he was surprised by how well received the ESVS website and webcasts had been. “We weren’t quite sure how the website and webcasts would be received. The responses were encouraging and we are repeating the webcast exercise in Istanbul with further refinements, in the hope of attracting even more interest.
The question of how commercial the ESVS should be remains open to debate. There was no clear indication provided by the ballot. The move towards a more commercial society will be put to the membership, said Horrocks. At the moment it remains “up in the air, but the society does not feel it has to rush into a decision. Horrocks explained: “The ESVS’s relationship with industry has been easier and more positive over the last year or two. Our major sponsors are currently pleased and therefore no radical changes need to be made.
The online ballot raised the possibility of a new name for the ESVS and this, therefore, was an area where we sought Horrocks’view. He said, “The feeling is not to change the name of the society. The Council felt in favour of a status quo, so no change for now. “In any case,”he went on, “a special general meeting of the society is scheduled to take place to change the constitution.”This is only a paper exercise, needed to comply with changes in English and Welsh law concerning charitable status, but it does require the disbanding and reforming of the society.
Ballot result highlights
ESVS Annual Meeting
Did you attend the meeting in Lucerne in September 2001?
Yes: 107 No: 95
(Time: 46, Too expensive: 28, No Interest: 1, Other: 23)
Will you attend the meeting in Istanbul in September 2002?
Yes: 154 No: 48
(Time: 16, Too expensive: 27, No Interest: 1, Other: 20)
Are you happy with the current format of the annual meeting?
Yes: 181 No: 21
Are you happy with the current content of the annual meeting?
Yes: 155 No: 47
(More papers (more than 50): 22,
Current number (48): 20,
Less papers (e.g. 36): 13,
More invited lectures: 2,
Parallel session for scientific papers: 19, Other: 16)
Do you find that the website is easy to access and use?
Yes: 195 No: 7
Do you find that the website is useful to you?
Yes: 197 No: 5
Have you looked at the webcast of the 2001 ESVS Meeting
Yes: 133 No: 69
Do you feel that the webcast is a good idea?
Yes: 188 No: 14
Name of the Society
Do you believe the name of the European Society for Vascular Surgery should be changed?
Yes: 124 No: 78
If yes, would you support:
The majority of respondents to the questionnaire were happy with the format of the ESVS annual meeting. However, there was a desire to see more workshops. “Here the society has a role to play in continuing professional development,”said Horrocks, “this will be partly addressed in the new meeting with CIRSE, which will have a focus on skills and practical aspects.”In addition, most ballot respondents were satisfied with the work of the secretariat and found the ESVS website both useful and helpful. Overall, Horrocks said he was pleased with the responses from the ballot.