The International Society of Surgery (ISS/SIC) is considered today one of the most distinguished and prestigious international surgical societies in the world. The International Society of Surgery - La Société Internationale de Chirurgie – was funded in 1902 on the initiative of Belgian surgeons Antoine Depage and his colleagues. After the establishment of the Society with its head-office in Belgium, the first international surgical meeting was held in Brussels in 1905 and was chaired by a famous Swiss surgeon, Dr.Theodor Kocher. After World War II the organization became gradually stronger with the participation of surgeons not only from Europe but also from North and South America and from Asia and Australia. The Society’s journal, the World Journal of Surgery, was founded in 1977. Today, under the leadership of Professor John Hunter, it is rated among the top surgical journals.
In 1979 the ISS/SIC headquarters were moved from Brussels to Basel, Switzerland. Subsequently, other surgical societies joined the ISS as integrated societies: the International Association of Endocrine Surgeons (IAES) in 1979 (at the Congress in San Francisco); the International Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care (IATSIC) in 1989 (at the Congress in Toronto); the International Association for Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition (IASMEN) in1993 (at the Congress in Hong Kong); Breast Surgery International (BSI) in 1999 (at the Congress in Vienna); the International Society for Digestive Surgery (ISDS) - founded as CICD in 1969 – in 2009 in Adelaide, and very recently the Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP) joined in 2013 at the Helsinki Congress.
The ISS/SIC World Congress of Surgery (formerly International Surgical Week) is held every two years in collaboration with its integrated societies, participating societies and national societies of the host country. The most recent congress was held in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2015 with the participation of more than 2,400 surgeons from 81 countries around the world. Thanks to the hard work of Professor Nopadol Wora-Urai, a strong Local Organizing Committee and the participation of the Royal College of Surgeons in Thailand, it was a great success.
The next ISS/SIC congress, the 47th World Congress of Surgery, will be held in Basel, Switzerland, August 13-17, 2107. There are many reasons for this choice. In times of international terrorism, Switzerland offers a safe heaven. Basel is a lovely city, considered the cultural capital of Switzerland. The city is located just a few miles from the border of both France and Germany, and can be easily reached from any city in the world. A train from Zurich International Airport takes only 60 minutes to reach the city. Basel has a centrally located and modern convention center which can easily accommodate the World Congress of Surgery. Special deals will be offered to participants for both hotels and restaurants. Several sightseeing tours in and around Basel will be arranged for accompanying persons and guests. Social events will take place in historical villas and castles.
The International Society of Surgery established years ago the ISS Foundation which has been instrumental in providing travel awards to young surgeons from all over the world. We are very grateful to Professor Jay Grosfeld for his dedication to the foundation over years. This role will be now assumed by Professor Mike Sarr. Under his leadership we plan to expand the role of the Foundation. As an international surgical organization, the ISS/SIC has the mission to enhance surgical education, training, and research in all fields of surgery around the world, particularly in the less developed countries.
The Executive Committee of the ISS took place in Zurich on March 11 and 12, 2016. In addition to the preparation for the WCS, many other initiatives were discussed. In particular, we are exploring the possibility to provide membership to medical students and residents for a nominal fee. We do believe that their early involvement in an international society like the ISS will be critical for the future of surgery.
I look forward to seeing you in Basel, for a memorable scientific and social event.
Marco G. Patti
Congress President, 47th World Congress of Surgery of ISS/SIC