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Hybrid Winter Meeting deemed ‘a great success’

By Priscilla Lynch - 05th Dec 2022

winter meeting

The 2022 Irish Society of Gastroenterology (ISG) Winter Meeting took place at the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Co Dublin, on 17-18 November, and was deemed a “great success”.

The two-day meeting was a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Society’s formation and also honoured leading Irish Gastroenterologist Prof Diarmuid O’Donoghue with a lifetime achievement award.

ISG President Prof Deirdre McNamara, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, and Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at Trinity College Dublin, noted that the meeting was “very well attended”, both in person and online, and for many delegates it was their first face-to-face major educational meeting since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to the Medical Independent, Prof McNamara said: “For me the highlight of the meeting was the quality of the speakers. They were fantastic. They covered a very diverse set of topics. I was particularly interested in all the new technologies, including AI [artificial intelligence], coming through. And yet it was lovely to come back to the more clinical, functional element. So the speakers were fantastic, the crowd was super. At all of these meetings, it is the interaction between the speakers and the questions from the floor and the chairpersons [that is of such value].”

The meeting’s key thematic focus was how to provide less invasive gastroenterology diagnostics/procedures where possible and optimal personalised and tailored care, against a background of ever-growing demand, changing technology, and scarce resources.

“Gastroenterology is a very broad church, but a common theme – and one for all Irish medicine – is how we maximise our healthcare services… with [the] challenges that face us. We are duty bound to identify the best way of treating patients. It is a continuing theme from meeting to meeting, and at this meeting there were some advances in that – our paediatric colleagues spoke about new triage systems that might be adaptable in adult medicine. So it is that mix, that opportunity to hear other ideas, that is hugely beneficial.”

There was also “an excellent standard” of research and case studies produced by younger ISG members and their mentors, she said. “What I am always proudest of is the presentations from our young gastroenterologists. The future of gastroenterology is in good hands. You can see that at meetings like this, you can see their enthusiasm, but also the skills that they’re bringing.”

Prof McNamara’s own hospital, Tallaght, fared very well in the award winners at the meeting. “I suppose that is reflecting our ethos of clinical and translational research, which would have been instilled in us from my trainer [the renowned gastroenterologist and Professor] Colm O’Moráin, who has a great history in research, which we are continuing.”

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