The 2nd International Conference of Asia Thoracoscopic Education Program (ATEP) was held successfully in Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH), Seoul, Korea, on 4th December and 5th December 2015.
ATEP was first organized at 2011 with missions of education in the field of advanced thoracoscopic surgery [(I) contribute to the advancement of thoracoscopic surgery in Asia and to the rest of the world; (II) implement and educate thoracoscopic surgery procedures to surgeons in Asia; (III) promote safe surgeries, patient’s safety and best clinical outcome for thoracic surgeons; (IV) promote and encourage sharing of thoracoscopic surgery techniques among members], dedicating to promoting the highest standards of minimally invasive thoracic surgery (MITS) across Asia. Through seven events centering on educational workshops, focusing on teaching advanced thoracoscopic surgery by intensive courses, ATEP achieved excellent results and plans to continue and increase this valuable activity.
The 2nd International Conference of ATEP has gathered numerous world-known thoracic experts, working and discussing together for the further development of thoracoscopic surgery.
The conference entailed the workshop and ATEP committee meeting with experts on the first day and lectures on thoracoscopic surgery on the second day. As the Official Journal of ATEP, Journal of Visualized Surgery (JOVS) Editorial Team also attended this grand conference. Let’s review the highlights of the 2nd International Conference of ATEP!
Day 1—ATEP round-table conference, eyes on the future
In the early morning of the first day, JOVS editorial team has already arrived at the modern SNUBH, preparing for the conference (Figure 1).
Before starting the meeting, Dr. Sanghoon Jheon arranged a tour around the hospital, introducing to committee members about the advanced database system of SNUBH (Figure 2).
The first day was a round-table meeting within the committee (Figure 3). Sitting together, ATEP committee members made reports about the ATEP academic activities, thesis publication, database establishment and so on, as well as discussing the future development of ATEP (Figures 4,5). Each reports were followed by opinion and suggestions from other members based on their own experience (Figures 6,7). When it came to the medical qualification examination for thoracic surgeon presented by Dr. Ali Zamir Khan, the meeting room boiled out with different views. With members participating in discussion so actively, ATEP, in no doubt, will bring more achievement in the future (Figure 8)!
Except the ATEP committee meeting, ATEP circuit training for young surgeons was at the same time going with three main courses (thoracoscopic simulator training with 3D Scope System, bronchoscopy training with airway demonstration model and robotic surgery training with Da Vinci System) (Figure 9).
Day 2—gathering together for the better development
A farewell to the round-table meeting, the conference welcomed more experts on the second day. After Dr. Jheon’s welcoming speech (Figure 10), a special session—Dr. Naruke Memorial Session, unveiled with Dr. Masao Naruke (son of Dr. Naruke) and Mrs. Naruke’ showing. Quite a lot well-known thoracic surgeons, including Dr. Rodney Landreneau, Dr. Toshiaki Morikawa, Dr. Tadasu Kohno, as well as young Dr. Masao Naruke (Figure 11), all coming together made excellent speeches in different aspects not only in memory of the late Dr. Tsuguo Naruke’s (creator of the first lung cancer lymph nodes map, Naruke map) pioneering contribution in developing thoracoscopic surgery in the 1990’s, but also encouraging all excepts to inherit Dr. Naruke’s pioneering spirit, contributing more to the development of thoracoscopic surgery.
Next was the tremendous sharing on cutting-edge surgical techniques and emerging new technologies for MITS, like techniques on single port MITS, robot-assisted MITS, minimally invasive segmentectomy, minimally invasive thymic surgery, clinical trials on MITS, pioneering training system for thoracoscopic surgery and so on. Other than the surgical technique sharing, thesis writing skills were shared by Dr. J. Patrick Barron, an international unparalleled editor from Japanese Medical Communication Center (Figures 12,13). As a tossed stone raises thousands of ripples, so did the sharing. In-depth discussion occurred instantly between the lecturers and the audience (Figure 14) after each speech, inspiring a lot sparkles.
At the final session of the conference--surgical video contest, ten marvelous surgical videos were shown, bringing one after another grand visual feast to the audience (Figures 15,16). Among them, Dr. Luis Hernandez from the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, China, finally won the best prize with his excellent videos on Uniportal Subxhiphoid Trisegmentectomy and Subxiphoid Segmentectomy (Figure 17).
JOVS becomes an official journal of ATEP
Since September 2015, JOVS has been established as the Official Journal of ATEP (see more in the http://www.amepc.org/jovs/announcement/view/181). During this conference, Mr. Stephan Wang, CEO & Founder of AME publishing company, and Dr. Sanghoon Jheon, president of ATEP as well as Editorial Board member of JOVS, together signed the strategic development agreement between JOVS and ATEP, officially establishing partnership with each other (Figures 18,19). The “marriage” between JOVS and ATEP not only brings brilliance to JOVS, but also makes JOVS an ideal platform for the sharing of sound minimally invasive thoracic surgical practice as espoused by ATEP, prompting the future development of thoracoscopic surgery.
Other than the signing ceremony, JOVS editorial team also took opportunity to present the Editorial Board certificate to our distinguished Editorial Board member for their impressive contribution (Figure 20).
JOVS in the conference
In this conference, not only JOVS attracted much attention from experts all around the world (Figure 21), but also the masterpiece in uniportal surgery—the book on Uniportal Video-assisted Thoracic Surgery edited by Drs. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas, Gaetano Rocco, Alan Sihoe and many other experts, resulting a common marketing phenomenon—demand exceeds supply (Figures 22,23).
Conference is always a great opportunity to meet and communicate with international experts, inspiring more of future cooperation and contact (Figure 24).
An end to the conference, a beginning to the friendship
After the two-day fantastic event, next came the rather relaxing banquet. Different from the normal one, this banquet was started with a hospital version of Gangnam Style. Listening to the lively melody of the song, all experts convulsed with laughter when seeing Dr. Sanghoon Jheon in sunglasses, wearing surgical gown in the movie with other doctors from SNUBH (Figure 27). A serious doctor in the day now became a talent in humor. How could it not be called as a miracle?
The humorous starting as well brought a well atmosphere for communication among experts. Chatting and sharing about everything, experts indulged into this great moment (Figure 28). Though the conference ended after the dinner, friendship began from here and deeper with time going on.
For the better deliver of academic development in the field of thoracoscopic surgery, a special issue dedicated to the 2nd International Conference of ATEP is on the way and will be published on JOVS in 2016. Let’s stay tuned!
Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Cite this article as: Gao S, Li G. The highlights in the 2nd International Conference of Asia Thoracoscopic Education Program. J Vis Surg 2016;2:8.