Kosova College of Surgeons hosts first Clinical Congress

The Kosova College of Surgeons (KCS) is the newest fellowship of surgeons in the world, established in December of 2018 as a scientific and advocacy body to lead the advancement of the discipline of surgery in Kosova. The organization is composed of representatives of 13 surgical societies of Kosova, representing more than 800 surgeons of all surgical disciplines, and will host its first Clinical Congress September 23−26, 2021, in Prishtina.

Purposes and mission

The main objective of the KCS is to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting the highest standards for surgical education and practice. The KCS is dedicated to improving the care of the surgical patient and to advancing the practice of surgery. The organization will collaborate with the health care authorities of Kosova to standardize the care, practice, and protocols of surgical care and seeks to advance the clinical, scientific, and research agendas of surgery in Kosova to achieve worldwide standards.

The mission of the KCS is to unify all practicing surgeons, residents of all surgical disciplines, and medical students across the country who will pursue surgery in the future. In particular, the KCS will unite surgeons from Kosova who practice in the western world and elsewhere.

The activities of the KCS will be implemented through structured continuous educational programs; clinical congresses and workshops; and policy changes organized through various committees with the goal of increasing access for all surgical patients, reducing complications, improving outcomes, and lowering cost of care for all. Read more about the KCS.

North American Trade Organization (NATO) troops liberated Kosova in June 1999, although independence came only in 2008. As a postconflict country, Kosova has been in continuous transition and has struggled to rebuild its medical system and research capacities. Kosova needs a new research infrastructure and modern surgical standards to advance its health care system to improve the quality of care for patients.

Following the ACS model

The KCS was created and modeled after the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and I am grateful to many leaders of the ACS, particularly ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS; ACS Past-President Carlos A. Pelligrini, MD, FACS, FRCSI(Hon), FRCS(Hon), FRCSEd (Hon); John A. Weigelt, MD, FACS, professor of surgery, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls; and Hugh M. Foy, MD, FACS, professor emeritus, department of surgery, University of Washington, Seattle. They have been staunch supporters of the KCS and its activities, including participating in international grand rounds and launching our new journal, the Kosova Journal of Surgery.

In addition, the U.S. Chapter of the International College of Surgeons, including immediate past-president Demetrius Litwin, MD, FACS, FICS, and current president Thavam Thambi-Pillai, MBBCh, FACS, FICS, along with Giorgios Tsoulfas, MD, PhD, FACS, FICS, world president of the International College of Surgeons, have been great supporters of the KCS. Moreover, Ramadan Jashari, MD, FETCS, director of the European Homograft Bank, a former graduate of Medical Faculty in Prishtina, Kosova, and Alberto Ferreres, MD, FACS(Hon), chairman and professor of surgery, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, also have been unwavering in their support of the KCS and the Kosova Journal of Surgery.

The ACS has been a guiding light for the KCS. Not only has the ACS founded a collaborative network of surgeons in all disciplines, but it has established unity between those surgeons as they all strive to achieve a common goal: the betterment of the quality of care for patients and the advancement of surgery. The KCS will continue to follow in the footsteps of the ACS, both within the organization and the affiliated journal, as we strive to create a positive impact in the surgical community, in Kosova, and globally. Just as the KCS was inspired and given the knowledge to succeed by looking into the history of the ACS, we anticipate the creation of our college will do the same for other nations.

First Clinical Congress this month

The KCS now looks forward to hosting its first Clinical Congress September 23–26. The meeting will include an opening ceremony, during which the KCS will welcome its new Fellows, internationally renowned guest speakers, and a number of panel sessions. For details about the conference, visit the KCS website. It is our hope that that the legacy of the KCS will be to inspire the creation of a chain of colleges all linked and all working together for the advancement of surgery and patient care worldwide. At present, KCS is supported by the International Virtual e-Hospital (www.iveh.org), which is leading a campaign to raise $10 million in the next 10 years to ensure sustainability of the surgical society and its activities.

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