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Founding Fathers of the ESC - What Have They Become - Part X - Finland 

More than 15% of Finnish doctors participate in local educational events organised by the FCS

Date: 18 Feb 2009
"The grand old man" of Finnish cardiology, Dr Pentti I Halonen took part in the founding meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in January 1949, and the relationship with the ESC has strengthened ever since. Subsequently, Dr. Halonen became the first president of the Finnish Cardiac Society, when it was founded in 1967.

We asked the Finnish society, from whom the ESC enjoys a high level of involvement and collaboration, to take the ESC News readers behind the scenes of Finnish cardiology.

Main Focus on Education

All the main activities of the Finnish Cardiac Society (FCS) are either focusing on scientific aspects of cardiology (guidelines, articles, support of the research, etc.) or educational events and functions aiming at improving the treatment of all cardiovascular disease. The FCS is the most active organisation arranging educational events in the field of cardiology in Finland.


Main educational events organised by FCS

The Annual Meeting in January always begins with a traditional Young Investigator Award Competition. Ten high-quality abstracts representing the foremost cardiovascular science in Finland are selected as oral presentations and compete for grants in both basic science and clinical science categories. The actual lectures at the Annual Meeting are mainly related to hot topics in the national health care system, policies and economical aspects of cardiology. Current issues in science also have a central place: in the traditional “State of the Heart” lecture, one of the most prominent personalities in the field of cardiology presents a thorough review of a hot topic in cardiology. Each year the meeting is organised in different cities in Finland and the number of participant varies from 80 to 250

The Spring Meeting in March is organised in close collaboration with cardiac surgeons and anaesthesiologists and gathers around 180 participants. The four-day program consists of state-of-the-art and up-to-date lectures in the field of cardiology and is intended quite exclusively for cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and cardiac anesthesiologists as well as fellows specialising on these specialities.

The Annual Autumn Meeting October in Helsinki during which more than 400 participants attend a three-day program with two to three simultaneous sessions. The programme is addressing all doctors working in the field of cardiovascular diseases. Some sessions are partially focusing on other healthcare professionals.  

Supporting National Research

As a means to support research, the FCS allocates grants to Finnish research groups and travel grants for both abstract presenters in cardiovascular congresses and young cardiologists learning new techniques in heart centres all over the world. In 2008 the total amount of grants was more than 90 000 €.

Working Groups

The society counts 12 active Working Groups responsible for organising meetings and other educational events categorised by subspecialties (see list below) The activity of these WGs is one of the main pillars of the continuous development of the society. Their contribution is of crucial importance when the scientific and educational activities of the society are being planned. Indeed, the preparation of the national recommendations and guidelines for practice are mostly conducted by the WGs.

143 educational events, accounting for 4 319 participants, which represents more than 15% of all the doctors in Finland.  

Heart Sound: a member journal enjoyed by a wide audience  

 “Sydänääni” (the Sound of Heart), the official journal for members of the society, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. The journal, published in Finnish only, has five regular issues a year and in addition a single supplement per year, dedicated to special themes. The journal is distributed to the members of the Finnish Cardiac Society, industrial members supporting the society and other professionals with a special interest in the field of cardiology (such as medical directors of the Universities and Central Hospitals in Finland). Find out more about the journal here  

Working together to meet our goals

The Finnish Cardiac Society has always had very close collaboration with the Finnish Heart Association. Together we have arranged many activities aimed at national level politicians promoting cardiovascular health. The European Heart Health Charter and other European Heart network projects (like “Women and Cardiovascular Disease”) have thus been promoted in close collaboration with the Finnish Heart Association.  

We also highly appreciate the close collaboration with the other four Nordic National Societies. From 2006, this collaboration has been extended to include our Baltic neighbours, and as a result of this, the next Nordic Congress of Cardiology in Iceland 3-5 June 2009 will be the first Nordic-Baltic Congress of Cardiology. Not only the societies but also the Working Groups have a close collaboration in Nordic countries.

Fast facts

Finnish Cardiac Society is an affiliated member of the American Heart Association and World Heart Foundation, and has been a National Society member of the European Society of Cardiology since 1968. 
FCS has about 760 members from which around 210 are consultant cardiologists, 38 registrars in cardiology, 500 doctors with a special interest to cardiology (such as internists, clinical physiologists and cardiac surgeons and anesthesiologists), and the rest being other professionals with an interest in cardiovascular medicine.

FCS Working Groups:

  • Acute Cardiac Care
  • Basic Science
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias and Pacing
  • Cardiac Imaging
  • Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart Failure
  • Invasive Cardiology
  • Medical Treatment
  • Thrombosis
  • Trainees in Cardiology

Contact information for Working Groups is available on the FCS website