Jan 06, 2023
Shinji Tanaka, MD. PhD, FJGES, FASGE
At the beginning of the year 2023, I would like to offer my greetings.
The coronavirus disaster that began in spring 2020 has entered its fourth year, and last year, 2022, was a very difficult year in which social activities were restricted. Although the novel coronavirus has shifted from the delta strain to the omicron strain, it has not been easy to see a complete end to the infection, and congresses and research conferences continue to be held in a hybrid format.
Under these circumstances, the 103rd Congress of JGES (13-15 May 2022) was successfully held in Kyoto, Japan, under the presidency of Dr. Haruhiko Ogata, with the main theme of “Imagination and Innovation with Intelligence”. The Congress was held at the same time as ENDO 2022 (President: Dr Fabian Emura, Co-President: Dr Hisao Tajiri), but many participants (10,716) were able to attend safely both locally and via the web in a hybrid format for which every effort was made to make thorough preparations. However, most of the overseas doctors could not come to Japan for ENDO 2022, so they had to participate via the web. The 46th JGES Seminar was held on 4 September 2022 in Sapporo in a hybrid format under the presidency of Dr. Yusuke Saito, and was a great success with a total of 2,221 participants. The 104th Congress of JGES (JDDW 2022, 27-29 October 2022) was held in Hakata, Fukuoka City in a hybrid format under the presidency of Dr. Toshiharu Ueki. More than 6,584 participants attended on-site and more than 21,336 participants attended the JDDW as a whole (as of 29 October 2022). Although it was a hybrid meeting, we experienced a lively atmosphere at the venue for the first time in a long time and keenly felt the importance of holding the congress face-to-face. Also, the JDDW celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, so a commemorative ceremony and concert were also held.
Considering the fact that the web has become widely and stably used due to the coronavirus disaster and the situation of female doctors raising children and general practitioners, in the future we will hold academic meetings (JGES Congress and its branch meetings) face-to-face in principle (or hybrid meetings when unavoidable) and seminars (JGES Seminars, Postgraduate Educational Seminars and Branch Seminars) online in principle.
With approximately 35,000 members (the fourth largest number of members among the subcommittees of the Japanese Medical Association as of August 2022), the JGES faces many challenges, including the development of a medical specialty board, promotion of the JED (Japan Endoscopy Database) project, reform and enhancement of the education and training system, support for the careers of female endoscopists, further development of internationalization projects, enhancement of English sessions, development of guidelines, medical safety and ethics issues, promotion of joint industry-academia-government projects from a global perspective, and so on.
On the other hand, the governing board has approved the first international congress of the JGES, called JGES International, to be held in 2025 on a date that is different from the dates when the usual JGES Congress will be held, and the preparation committee has already started to consider specific details of the JGES International Congress. The internationalization of JGES is expected to be strengthened.
The impact factor of Digestive Endoscopy: DEN (Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Takayuki Matsumoto) continues to increase steadily despite fluctuations. The editorial board of its sister journal DEN Open (Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Takao Itoi) is considering a significant reduction in submission fees to make it easier to submit manuscripts, and DEN Open was included in PubMed Central as early as last March.
This year, the 105th Congress of JGES will be held in Tokyo on 25-27 May under the presidency of Dr. Takayuki Matsumoto, the 47th JGES Seminar will be held on 24 September 2023 under the presidency of Dr. Tadashi Sato via on-demand transmission, and the 106th Congress of JGES (JDDW 2023, 2-5 November 2023) will be held in Kobe under the presidency of Dr. Akiko Shiotani. We look forward to participation and active discussions among many members.
Finally, I hope that the coronavirus disaster will be completely resolved this year. We will not overreact to the coronavirus problem, but will take appropriate measures from medical and social standpoints, successfully overcome the period from the coronavirus era to the post-coronavirus era, and do our best to further develop our Society. I would like to ask for your continued support.