Evžen Růžička, MD, DSc, FCMA
Charles University Prague
Prague, Czech Republic
Let me begin by congratulating our entire Society on all the successes achieved in 2018.
In the last quarter of 2018, I was particularly proud of the European Section for the abundant attendance of our members at the MDS International Congress in Hong Kong. All participants appreciated the congress organizers for their perfect preparation, educational content, and all the opportunities for networking and social events during the congress. Hong Kong was a perfect venue for the congress, and I only hope that Nice in 2019 will be similarly successful opportunity to become part of the global MDS community.
Let me continue with mentioning MDS-ES educational activities. In 2018, MDS-ES educated approximately 1,500 people at our regional and outreach education courses. The eleven (11) Regional Education courses educated 586 people, and the four outreach programs educated over 900 participants.
For 2019, we are preparing a further twelve regional courses, plus additional outreach education. We will continue to offer the Winter and Summer Schools for Young Neurologists, courses on Deep Brain Stimulation, and Schools for Allied Health colleagues (Nurses, Physiotherapists, and Speech therapists) in 2019. We also have some new education courses on Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes, Prodromal Parkinson’s Disease, and Neuroimaging and Neurophysiology of Movement Disorders. The Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) Committee is also presenting a course on applying EBM principles to clinical practice. Visit the MDS Education webpage for a full list of upcoming MDS regional education courses.
Preparation is well underway for the years 2020-22. We recently concluded a call for our Winter and Summer Schools for Young Neurologists, and Allied Health Schools such as Physiotherapy, Nursing, and Speech/Swallowing. The selection process is ongoing and in the coming months, the MDS-ES Education Committee will prepare the proposal, which will then go for approval to the MDS-ES Officers and the MDS-ES Executive Committee.
Regarding the common organization issues of the European Section, MDS dues renewal for 2019 is underway and that inspires a moment of reflection on MDS-ES membership. It should be noted that the number of MDS-ES members decreased in 2018 due to the reorganization of the African region. The African nations previously included in the MDS-ES (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Seychelles) are transitioning to MDS-Africa and are included in the totals for Africa and not MDS-ES. As MDS continues the process of establishing a formal African Section with leaders in the region, our African colleagues can always be sure of our support and rejoice in their achievements. Still, MDS-ES represents a large number of individual countries (70) whose residents are eligible for MDS-ES membership. Even more than before, it is important that the number of members does not decrease unnecessarily as some of us postpone membership renewal. In addition, the number of young members recruited at our courses, such as young neurologists' schools and other yearly repeated and newly introduced programs, is increasing. Nearly half of the MDS-European Section members are younger than 40, and many use no-fee membership options, whether student or associate and waived dues. Let me ask all of you to stay with us in the coming year.
I write this letter at the very end of 2018 and you will be reading it at the beginning of 2019. Let me therefore congratulate you for your interest in movement disorders and thank you for your active contribution to our achievements. Finally, let me thank the MDS- ES Officers, the MDS-ES Executive and Education Committees, and the MDS Secretariat for their constant endeavor, and let me wish all of you all the best in 2019.