Bonner Str. 84
Dear friends and colleagues,
It gives me great pride – and is an enormous honor – to be your President for the next two years. I first became involved in ISAPS leadership as the Assistant Treasurer in 2008. Since then, I have been on the ISAPS Board continuously for the past ten years and have served in many positions representing our society, most recently as the President-Elect under the very successful leadership of President Renato Saltz who taught us all how to be good servants of the society. He was the perfect role model for us all and breathed ISAPS 24/7. A real servant himself! We are all proud of him and he must be proud of all the achievements in the last two years.
What did I learn from him? Personally, I believe that the servant mentality is key. Good leadership also means listening to our members, to our board colleagues and to our staff. But it also means thinking outside the box, envisioning new ways to educate, finding new options to reach younger members and understanding their needs. As the youngest President of ISAPS, I feel especially responsible for the new generations and our mission: Aesthetic Education Worldwide®. A good mission – and says it all!
Our society needs to rejuvenate while maturing and this applies not only to the membership, but also to the leadership, professors and faculty. We need to make more use of digitalization which helps us improve our knowledge anytime and anywhere in the world at every level. But there are also many risks with the different digital platforms that are available on the internet, many of them for free and without proper peer review. Residents learn operations from YouTube channels or from some Aesthetic Academies where nobody knows who the teacher is or if he is even a doctor. They urgently ask for basic education in aesthetics that most of them are missing during their training in big university hospitals or clinics. Our text books are too complicated, and our young surgeons are demanding something simple, reliable and practical to help them survive the first years in private practice. We got the message and saw a wonderful option for ISAPS to jump in.
Our Education Council, under the established leadership of Vakis Kontoes and Ozan Sozer, has already set up a new format called F.A.S.T. – a comprehensive course with three basic modules: Face, Breast and Body. Very didactic, very well structured and with young, highly motivated professors. The first module is already scheduled in February 2019 in Moscow. Reserve your place right now.
Furthermore, I am proud to announce the first book of an aesthetic surgery society, The ISAPS Manual on Basics in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, covering exactly the needs of young plastic surgeons: simple and safe techniques to start with, non-invasive alternatives, marketing aspects and material – all from the masters, all written by ISAPS professors. The publisher is Elsevier and I am confident that this new bible will be available in 2020 including a lot of digital material and perfect drawings for better understanding. So exciting!
Digitalization, including webinars, E-learning, video library, and better membership services such as automatic annual fee renewal, will be one big aim during my term as well as aesthetic education of the younger plastic surgery generation worldwide. Many other projects mostly focused on better service for our members and patient safety are already lined up. New ISAPS insurance models for revisions, malpractice, disability, cyber security and travel will soon be available with very good benefits for the entire membership. Many thanks to Alison Thornberry, our ISAPS insurance director, and Kai Schlaudraff, our Treasurer, for their hard and dedicated work.
The Global Alliance now has 61 affiliated National Societies. We held our first meeting in Kyoto in 2016 and the interaction among these leaders was outstanding and valuable. Our focus going forward has created a single international voice for global aesthetic plastic surgery, representation on all international issues related to patient safety, developing new strategies for safe medical tourism and promoting a global partnership in our diverse education, training and accreditation activities. We need more protection to strengthen our specialty. This means a lot of political involvement and management by perception and international strength – exactly what the Global Alliance stands for!
The recently concluded biennial Congress in Miami Beach – what an event! Record-breaking attendance from 98 countries, 372 Faculty, over 400 free papers, and 160 Exhibitors! The biggest meeting ever in the history of ISAPS!
But was it good? Was it worth it to attend? Did we learn new things? Well, the feedback was overwhelming and personally, I learned a lot from our faculty: tips, tricks, little things, new things. That’s what I expect from a scientific meeting from the biggest international society of aesthetic plastic surgeons in the world – and also to re-connect with my friends from all over the globe. We are a big and powerful network of distinguished colleagues who share the same interests: to improve their skills and to have some fun together. Yes, it was very good, and we noticed valuable tips for improvement, which is also good. To me, the Miami Beach Congress was one of the most exciting moments in my life culminating with ISAPS President Dr. Renato Saltz handing over the duties of the Presidency to me. Palpitations, joy, respect and pride.
A big, big THANK YOU also to Catherine Foss, our Executive Director, the whole team in our Executive Office, and the Board of Directors who all worked day and night to make this big event a success.
We have decided to go to Vienna in 2020! A young and vibrant city full of historic buildings, hip multi-cultural restaurants, bars and clubs! The ideal place to learn from the best of the world in aesthetics, to reconnect with your international friends or simply to enjoy Austrian hospitality. I could not think of a better place to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We have planned special live surgery courses on complication cases (SOS) and cadaver courses at the famous Anatomical Training Center at the University of Vienna in the days before the World Congress starts so that there is no overlap with the meeting. Marking courses, best and worst case sessions, problems and solutions panels, migraine surgery labs and the Best of the World Competition – a new event where all Global Alliance Partners can present their best speaker – these will be some highlights of the scientific program.
Vienna in September 2020 – definitely the highlight but also the end of my presidency.
I hope that you support me during my Presidency to rejuvenate and protect our society.
Dirk Richter, MD
ISAPS President 2018-2020