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    Dear Members and friends,

    I am thankful for the privilege of being president of the oldest European society dedicated to cardio-vascular surgery. Being president of this Society is the highlight of my career, not only professionally but personally as well. I am also humbled by the knowledge that many of you are far more deserving of this honor than I, and, even more so, after reviewing the distinguished list of past presidents, the giants of cardiovascular surgery. I want to thank the many past presidents who have put ESCVS on a powerful and stable course.
    What has happened in the last 3 years, with the Covid pandemic, the economic crisis and, unfortunately, the war in the east of our beautiful Europe, has significantly affected the activity of every scientific society and also that of our Society. Organising a congress today is not easy. 

    Prof. Franco Grego
    Prof. Franco Grego

    Therefore I would like to thank prof. Natzi Sakalihasan and prof. Thierry Folliguet along with their colleagues for their dedication in organising these events in this difficult moment. Our aim is to look at cardiac and vascular surgery, considering the new technologies currently available. Technologies that, especially in the endovascular field, have recently made significant progress.

    Despite these advances, some fear that our surgical specialties may be facing significant decline, even extinction because of equally impressive advances by our colleagues, especially in radiology or intervention cardiology.
    Against this fear, I would like to send a positive message: surgery will remain a fundamental pillar in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases: it will be necessary to learn more and more about this art, given the need to respond to increasingly complex cases, often selected because they cannot be treated with endovascular procedures or because we have to correct endovascular complications, which would otherwise be inoperable.

    After more than four decades of working in operative room, as a student and fellow and later as a surgeon, I have learned some very important lessons: first we learn from each other, which is the foundation of team-based training. Second, failure is not an end result but it is necessary path to success through a learning process and, lastly, we have to remember the past but look to the future.
    Therefore, the aim of our Society is to consolidate the surgical achievements of the past and to pass the art of applying them safely on to our young colleagues. At the same time, stimulating them to look at future technological developments with an open mind.
    We must help the new generation of surgeons, who are our greatest treasure, to be complete professionals who can provide the patient with the best possible treatment.

    We have to direct all our energy toward them. For this purpose, we must provide more and more opportunities for training and thus growth. My invitation is therefore to continue with our initiatives such as winter and summer schools and to develop every possible formative moment. I would like us to be able to develop the “exchange” project, but I would also like other colleagues to become promoters of virtual events, which although limited to circumscribed groups of colleagues, are an integral part of the educational offer, that our society must give. With the hope that all our plans can be realised in the best possible way and that this ugly war ends soon, I look forward to meeting more and more of you at the next congress of the society in Paris in 2023.
    I wish you all, your families and all your co-workers, the best.
    Long live our great ESCVS

    Franco Grego

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