My name is Alina Constantin and I have been working as a gastroenterologist at a private hospital in Bucharest, Romania for the past 4 years. My training in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) started 4 years ago when the hospital purchased a linear EUS system. After a European Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) fellowship at an EUS tertiary center in Milan, I began to perform EUS procedures at my hospital under the supervision of Professor Adrian Săftoiu. In addition, it was Professor Săftoiu who encouraged me to apply to the WEO International School of EUS (WISE) program, considering it a unique opportunity for improving not only my skills but also my knowledge. WISE most definitely enabled access to high quality education in EUS, and for trainees this program certainly represented certainly a gulp of fresh air in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

First of all, I want to congratulate the team led by Professor Dong Wan Seo for a flawless organization of this online program. From the transmission that connected participants from all over the world, and the active collaboration with the WEO Secretariat team regarding all the resources needed for each module, to the involvement of speakers and participants in creating the successful interactive sessions that can be so difficult to obtain online, everything was done with a high level of professionalism.

From my point of view, the strengths of the first four modules were: the emphasis on liver segmentation; mediastinal anatomy; radial EUS; tips and tricks from experts regarding techniques in interventional EUS; discussions generated by participant case presentations; and, last but not least, the tests that highlighted unfamiliar concepts that were clarified during the modules. On the other hand, the main drawbacks of the program related to the limitations of an online course, such as limited time for question-and-answer, the lack of hands-on experience, and the lack of face-to-face interactions between participants regarding new collaborations.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the WISE family, and certainly this experience will lead to an increased quality in the workshops held in our hospital.

Ultimately, I have only one regret: that I did not have the opportunity to visit the Asan Medical Center – but that indeed represents a priority for the future.

Alina Constantin MD, PhD student
Ponderas Academic Hospital, Bucharest, Romania