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Spanish Society of Cardiology gets ready for ESC Congress 2014

Interview with Spanish Society of Cardiology President Dr. J. R. Gonzalez-Juanatey, FESC

Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC) President Dr Gonzalez-Juanatey explains why ESC Congress coming to Barcelona is good news for Spanish cardiology and what the National Cardiac Society is most looking forward to as the eyes of the global cardiology community look to this beautiful city.

Barcelona will be the focus of cardiology’s largest and most influential event from 30 August to 3 September. What does that mean for the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC)?Spanish Society of Cardiology President Dr. Juanatey-Gonzalez

It’s really a great opportunity for us. The fact that ESC Congress
is coming to Spain should act as a great stimulus for Spanish cardiologists and researchers – it’s the highest quality cardiology congress on our doorstep!

It’s also a real honour to be the host country for the fifth time. We have a great collaborative relationship with the ESC and ESC Congress coming to Barcelona is another opportunity for us to work together.   

What are you most looking forward to from ESC Congress 2014?

The most important sessions for me are the ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines sessions – there are five new Guidelines being presented at ESC Congress 2014.

Other important sessions however are the new Cases in Crossfire - based on real cases that will be opened for discussion and treatment options and the new Global Focus sessions will be of great interest. And of course the highlight sessions on the last day to catch up on the great science you missed – it’s impossible to see everything!

What will you be taking from ESC Congress 2014 to the SEC annual Congress in October?

SEC 2014ESC Congress 2014 and the debates that it generates are very important and many of the key sessions are reinforced at a national level during the SEC Congress. Being able to talk about the subject in our local language is of course vital and we ensure that this content is available on our website for all Spanish speaking cardiologists.

We’ll be covering Guidelines sessions, the highlights and even using some of the formats such as ‘The Hub’ which is an excellent way for delegates to be more directly involved with the presentation and ask questions – it’s not just the science that is innovative at ESC Congress!

Will there be sessions in Spanish during ESC Congress 2014?

Yes - on the first day there is a special track on General cardiology for physicians, nurses and technicians where there will be a session in Spanish. There is also a one day fee of 55 Euros for those who wish to attend.

There have been a record number of abstracts submitted to this year’s ESC Congress with Spain being in the top 5 countries for abstract submissions. Why do you think scientists and researchers continue to choose ESC Congress first to present their work?

ESC Congress is the best place to get great visibility for your work. It’s the most influential event from a cardiovascular science point of view and the quality of the programme and abstracts is second to none, not just in Europe but worldwide.

It’s a great place for stimulus and driving work, ideas, projects and professional relationships forward. It’s the place to be!

Many cardiologists will be presenting their abstracts at ESC Congress for the first time – any tips or advice?

The very first time I presented my work at an international forum was at ESC Congress in Nice some 20 years ago – you never forget your first time! It’s not just the presentation itself that’s important, but the debate that follows. Delegates should really engage with that and make the most of the unique opportunity to talk about their findings and what they mean with an international audience. The abstract programme at ESC Congress is very exciting.

During ESC Congress 2014 there will be live streaming of a number sessions on the ESC website and a TV report of all the key highlights per day available on ESC TV. With so much available online, are health care professional less likely to attend such events in the future?

Nothing will ever replace actually being part of the action! The networking opportunities in particular are fantastic and nothing will ever replace the value of face to face meetings. You can meet with other individuals but also groups from across all disciplines, which is really good for young and established cardiologists alike.

I have experienced first-hand and benefited from the power of networks started at ESC Congress. Strong relationships have been created between Spanish hospitals with very fruitful collaboration as well as exchanges for young cardiologists with hospitals abroad including Rotterdamm, Berlin and Georgia – these face to face meetings are the beginnings of important relationships.

For those who can’t attend ESC Congress 2014 in Barcelona, how would you recommend they don’t miss out on the essential science?

There are some really good resources available and they are free! Best of ESC Congress - a one hour online programme with experts commenting on key findings - is really great for young cardiologists and General Practitioners. ESC Congress in Review is also very good for these groups.

For established cardiologists however a really fantastic resource is ESC Congress 365 - the online library of all the slides, reports, abstracts, webcasts etc. I use it to review a particular subject, for my research and for information in teaching classes. It’s free and I can highly recommend bookmarking it!

When delegates hit the balmy streets of Barcelona, what three things should they NOT miss when taking time out from the science?

Barcelona is a city rich in culture, beautiful to just stroll around and of course a wealth of restaurants and tapas bars in which to relax and discuss the day’s events. Of course for our friends and colleagues coming from northern European countries, I recommend the sun and the beaches!

What are the main challenges for the SEC and how do you hope to address these as President?

The national health care system in Spain is one of the country’s most outstanding social achievements. The main priority for the SEC is to ensure that standards of patient care are of the very best quality for those suffering from cardiovascular diseases. We have two projects which respond to this and information on these will be available on our stand during ESC Congress 2014:

  • INCARDIO – ensuring the homogenisation of standards in cardiology centres to assure a minimum standard of care
  • INNOVASEC – how to best use industry innovation in health care

How do you see the role of the SEC and the ESC?

A scientific society is not just for or about health professionals. It has an important social role to play. It should use its expertise and influence to ensure best standards of patient care. This is an important challenge for the SEC and also for the European Society of Cardiology at a European level.

Register for ESC Congress before 31 July and save up to 90 Euros!