Acknowledging the work of Prof. Karl-Göran Thorngren, and introducing the new President.
In the last EFORT e-Newsletter of 2009, Professor Karl-Göran Thorngren gave us an excellent overview of the activities and evolution of EFORT during his 2008/2009 presidency.
I would like to devote the first part of this message to thanking our Immediate Past President for the tremendous work he has done for our organisation. From my work in the Executive Committee over the past five years I have been able to witness at first hand Prof. Thorngren’s professionalism and creativity on behalf of EFORT. Prof. Langlais’ tragic traffic accident propelled Prof. Thorngren to the president’s position rather unexpectedly. He nonetheless fulfilled this role with a natural wisdom and elegance. An experienced Executive Committee supported Prof. Thorngren in his efforts, backed by increasingly close collaboration between the President and General Secretary, Dr. Manuel Cassiano Neves. The president has had to make many key decisions over the past two busy years at EFORT. We started, for example, with yearly congresses, the first being held in Nice 2008. It was a great success. We organised very successful Instructional Courses throughout Europe, ExMEx Fora (experts meet experts), opened the door to colleagues from outside Europe, strengthened the partnership between EFORT and industry, and started lobbying in Brussels in favour of our profession and our patients. These are just some of the milestones we achieved. Our rapid expansion nonetheless created tension between EFORT and the speciality societies. Prof. Thorngren played a crucial role in the realisation that both sides need each other, and started intensive discussions with the speciality societies to involve them in our educational work. One of his most important achievements was to establish the EFORT Foundation, through which EFORT can raise additional income to support educational and scientific work. Many of us remember well the successful charity run/walk at last year’s Vienna congress, which was initiated by Prof. Thorngren. I am sure that, in the future, he will be an inspirational leader of the EFORT Foundation, and I hope that we can also continue to count on his wise advice in the EFORT Executive Committee.
As EFORT’s new President, I think it is worth introducing myself to the European orthopaedic community. It is a great honour both personally and for Eastern Europe that the EFORT General Assembly entrusted me with the leadership of this huge organisation for the next two years. I live in Budapest, and I have chaired the Orthopaedic Department at Semmelweis University since 1995. As an active orthopaedic surgeon, I have had a little trouble adjusting to my new role. It involves reading and answering about ten e-mails per day from our Central Office, weekly telephone conferences, and 45 days abroad in the service of EFORT this year alone.
I intend to continue the work of our Immediate Past President in the same way.
Fortunately, we now have highly professional staff at our Central Office, and spirits are high in the Executive Committee. I feel a strong commitment toward EFORT, and believe that we can fulfil the vision of our organisation to the full.
Prof. Dr. Miklós Szendröi
EFORT President 2010/2011