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Netherlands Society of Cardiology prepares Amsterdam for ESC Congress 2013

An active society with over 1500 national members, the NVVC is preparing for the arrival of the world’s largest gathering of cardiology professionals. ESC Congress will be hitting the streets (and the bikes!) of Amsterdam from 31 August to 4 September. NVVC President, Dr Umans, FESC, shares what the Dutch cardiology community is most looking forward to from ESC Congress 2013 and how they are planning to give this year’s event a unique and unforgettable Dutch touch!

How do you feel about ESC Congress coming to

“It is a very special occasion for cardiologists in the Netherlands; not only does it allow young people to attend, in particular technicians, nurses and PhD students, it’s a very attractive way to get more deeply involved with cardiology."










What has the Dutch cardiology community got up its sleeve as host country for ESC Congress 2013?

“On behalf of the NVVC we are both delightedRoyal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands and privileged to be the hosting country. Getting connected to people and networking is at the very heart of what the NVVC is trying to achieve currently and ESC Congress is the ultimate opportunity for this, both for cardiologists here at home and across Europe."

“To mark the occasion we have organised two special events; a concert from the Orchestra of Netherlands cardiology, on Sunday 1 September at evening in the Royal Concertgebouw, one of Europe’s most renowned concert halls and the Dragon Boat race! Funds raised by the sale of concert tickets will go towards a national Dutch initiative called CRASH which aims to train all students between the ages of nine and 19 in basic resuscitation skills.”*

*Don’t miss the hands on CPR workshops with the latest Guidelines on-site at ESC Congress 2013.

How can delegates support the CRASH initiative?

“Buy a ticket for a great evening of music! If we get a full house on Sunday evening, the NVVC will be able to pay for 2500 students to receive an eLearning programme and skills lab training with a qualified CPR trainer, so make sure you come along - the cardiologists are practicing hard!”

And the dragon boat race?

“This is taking place on Saturday afternoon between 15 Dutch cardiology teaching hospitals. The rowers had to raise €5000 to enter a boat (funds going towards concert tickets for CRASH) as well as row, so they definitely pulled the short straw! The race finishes at the Scheepvaart Museum so come and cheer them on!”

For the first time this year the scientific programme will be kicking off from Day One, Saturday 31 August. What can delegates expect?

“There’s a general cardiology track dedicated to General practitioners, nurses and other allied professionals. It is designed to update healthcare professionals as an introduction to ESC Congress 2013 and one of the four sessions from 13:00 - 14:00 is Nurse-led initiatives in the Netherlands: which will also cover the expanding role of cardiovascular nurses and allied professionals in Europe.”

What are you most looking forward to from ESC Congress 2013 and what will be of most value for the NVVC summit in October?

The Cardiologist of Tomorrow tracks are particularly interesting for younger physicians who are an important group for the NVVC. The new Guidelines and the Guidelines into Practice track is also going to be of great interest - being able to transfer this invaluable knowledge and best practice into our daily practice is a major step. And of course the Hot Lines – they’re a must!” 

There have been a record number of Hot Lines, Clinical Trial and Registry updates presented to ESC Congress this year. What will you be looking out for?

Trials related to STEMI and NON STEMI are of particular interest as they fit well with an initiative we launched in April 2012 called CONNECT - a regional approach to better managing myocardial infarction. By Connecting the chain of care from paramedic to cardiologist and rehabilitation technicians to family care and support we aim to get the patient to right place at the right time for the right treatment for PCI Intervention. Each region is also focused on a specialty topic - it’s about information sharing and not reinventing the wheel.”

This is the fourth time that ESC Congress has come to Amsterdam. Is there an ESC Congress that stands out to you in particular?


“The 1995 Congress in Amsterdam was special for me as I presented research on the clinical outcomes of PCI. But it’s probably the 1984 ESC Congress in Dussledorf that stands out the most as I was presenting a controversial oral abstract on the non-successful outcomes of PTCA (now known as PCI). I was presenting the data on behalf of Professor Serruys (Editor in Chief of EuroIntervention) who had just become a father to a beautiful baby girl. On the one hand I was very proud, but on the actual day I was very nervous - and alone!”

Do you have any tips for first time abstract presenters this year?


“It’s a wonderful experience! They should be nervous, but enjoy that nervousness and most of all relish the first ten minutes after the presentation! At least that’s what I’m telling one of my PhD students, Nick Van Boven, who’s presenting at one of the poster sessions this year.”

You became President of the NVVC just a month ago and have already been on national TV! What are the most pressing cardiology issues in the Netherlands currently?


“The issue there is the quality of cardiology in the Netherlands and how it’s controlled. We have a quality control committee which holds to account physicians that do not adhere to the required guidelines. Another pressing issue for us is the difficulties young cardiologists have coming into the field in a challenging economic climate. Our concern is to ensure our young talent is given the very best training and exposed to the latest techniques for a stronger start in their professional careers.”

When delegates descend upon the city of canals, coffee shops and tulips, what three things should they NOT miss when taking time out from the science?

“Number one has to be the concert on Sunday evening – it will be a real treat! Number two – one of our wonderful museums such at the Rijksmuseum. And number three, the ‘Negen Straatjes’ or Nine streets’ at the heart of Amsterdam’s canal district. If you’re hungry I can highly recommend one of our Indonesian restaurants – and of course our (in)famous cafés!"