The Pan-American Digestive Diseases Week was held last September in the Colombian city of Cartagena de las Indias, located on the Caribbean coast and considered one of South America’s most beautiful cities. However, there was not much time for enjoying the tropical surroundings, as endoscopists from all around the globe gathered to discuss and learn about the latest developments and controversies in GI endoscopy. WEO held a number of activities there.

The first event organized by WEO during the Pan-American was the Colorectal Cancer Screening Committee (CRCSC) meeting. It was the first time ever that a CRCSC meeting was held in South America. Professor Linda Rabeneck (Canada) chaired the two-hour meeting which began with an overview of various screening programs from around the world. The presentations were followed by a spirited discussion.

With over 250 participants, the meeting room was filled to its last seat. The high attendance indicates the significant level of interest in and demand for more activities in the region, which WEO is eager to meet. Several groups approached WEO after the meeting, suggesting the need for future meetings in other Latin American countries.

The second event organized by WEO was the Advanced Diagnosis Endoscopic Course (ADEC). It took place under the chairmanship of WEO President Elect Dr Jean-Francois Rey (France) and Dr Fabian Emura (Colombia), SIED Past President and future WEO President Elect.

With more than 150 attendants, the course was a great success. Dr Rey gave a lecture and interactive quiz to test the audiences’ knowledge on the finer points of the clinical applications on Barrett’s esophagus.  Dr Emura, the driving force behind the design of the ADEC in Colombia, also quizzed the attendees on the clinical applications in early gastric cancer with the live voting system. The knowledge of the audience was impressive, but there could be only one winner: Dr Ricardo Cepeda from Bogota, Colombia, who was announced the winner of the ADEC quiz and was awarded a free registration and accommodation for ENDO 2017 – 1st World Congress of GI Endoscopy in Hyderabad, India, February 16-19.

The third and final event from WEO was the Better Endoscopic Training Service (BEST) course, held during lunch time of the last day of the Pan-American. Again, Dr Fabian Emura was responsible for the design of the program. As the BEST course format is customized to suit local needs, the audience was offered a multidisciplinary learning experience. The local course directors were Dr Roque Saenz (Chile) and WEO Past President Jerome D. Waye (USA). The course entailed lectures from a broad range of topics, i.e. Simulators and training tools, Difficult polypectomy & EMR, ERCP – Reducing complications and increasing success, and How to improve your endoscopic technique.

WEO is thankful to Dr Emura for his great support in arranging all three courses. WEO is proud of the great success of its courses in South America and hopes they become a regular feature at the Pan-American conference.