By Dario Ligresti, MD

Endoscopy Service
Department of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services
Palermo, Italy



Six young endosonographers from six different countries, wanting to improve their skills in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), participated in an international EUS school in Korea. This was the core of the first WEO International School of EUS (WISE) course 2018, a project that has just finished with many new achievements and good memories in our suitcases.

The program consisted of three modules of about 10 days each. In March, in module one, we were exposed to the topic of basic anatomy, with a two-day course at the Olympus Korea Medical Training and Education Center (K-TEC) in Songdo. Here we took part in classes and hands-on training sessions with an outstanding international faculty. In Seoul, at the Asan Medical Center, we learned from observation of procedures, case-based discussions, lectures, and hands-on training sessions using the swine model in an animal laboratory.

In June, the second module focused on tissue acquisition. After training at Asan we then joined the International Digestive Endoscopy Network (IDEN) conference, where we presented the results of our animal lab experience with a poster titled “Endoscopic ultrasound anatomy of the pancreatobiliary system: the WISE experience”.

In module three, in October, we were exposed to interventional EUS, having the opportunity to perform radiofrequency ablation (RFA), pseudocyst and biliary drainage procedures, such as cholecystogastrostomy, choledochoduodenostomy, and hepaticogastrostomy, both in phantoms and swine models. We also attended the EUS Summit Conference, where the latest advances in endosonography were presented by an international faculty who also mentored us during the Young Endosonographer Forum. In these abstract-based sessions we had the opportunity to discuss the current focus of EUS research at our respective centers.

Between the three modules, web conferences were organized under the mentorship of Professor Dong-Wan Seo, Chair of the WISE, to discuss and share cases and difficulties in our daily clinical practice.

Using all these different teaching tools, WISE has established a well-structured training program in the field of EUS, a discipline that is recognized to have a substantial learning curve. To date, few dedicated training programs for EUS have been described or implemented, and WISE is what we needed to effectively enhance our knowledge and skills.

Practicing with the swine model in the animal lab was an invaluable experience. In fact, the swine model provides excellent haptic feedback that resembles what is experienced in humans, improving the realism of the examination and training experience. This is significantly superior to other phantoms or computer-based simulator models that have been developed to date.

As a special added value of this project, I find that the opportunity to network with other colleagues with different cultural and professional backgrounds is an exceptional resource for horizontal exchange of experience. Furthermore, from beginning as a group of colleagues we became a group of friends who want to continue collaborating after WISE.

For all of this I will be permanently grateful to WEO and Professor Dong-Wan Seo who designed the WISE project and made it possible. His devotion to teaching and his passion for endoscopic ultrasound inspired me and, who knows… maybe made me “WISEr”!

Dario Ligresti, MD

Application for the second WISE course 2019 is now open.

Two WISE modules are taking place June 8-15, 2019 and October 5-12, 2019.

The course will take place at the ASAN medical center in Seoul, Korea, a renowned EUS hub. Here, an expert group of international trainers will ensure the quality of the training, with the help of first class lab facilities and advanced technical equipment.

For detailed information about the program and to apply, please visit:

Deadline for application is February 28, 2019.