The WISE education program under the leadership of course founder and director Professor Dong Wan Seo, began in 2018 with the modest number of six trainees. Today, it is with great satisfaction that WISE sees many more trainees benefiting from the course, following the successful conclusion of the WISE 2021 program and as WISE 2022 opens its doors to new registrations. Dr. Thienes Costa Lima from Brazil is one such beneficiary:

My name is Thienes Costa Lima and I practice diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures in Brazil, focusing on biliopancreatic endoscopy. For the last three years I have been increasingly interested in and looking for improvement in the area of endoscopic ultrasound. WISE seemed the perfect opportunity for additional education to improve my practice.

I was accepted onto WISE 2021, the training program founded in 2018 and carefully directed by Professor Dong-Wan Seo. All the modules were delivered in a digital format in order to adapt to the constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The online format didn’t compromise the quality and learning experience at all; actually, I think it helps knowledge to reach some parts of the world in a way that would be impossible otherwise, and enables lectures and interaction with EUS experts from all over the world despite distance and busy schedules.

We participated in five modules during 2021 and exposed to the full spectrum of EUS training, from equipment preparation (valuable tips I will always incorporate into my daily practice) and basic anatomy to interventional and advanced EUS (guided biliary drainage, pancreatic fluid collection drainage, radiofrequency and ethanol ablation, among many others). I was impressed by the high-quality lectures and easy access to a wide range of renowned endosonographers. The latter shared their valuable experience within a platform for discussion and enhancement of learning (every question from trainees was answered during the discussion or in the chat box)., This was always under the guidance of Professor Seo who is very aware of the technical difficulties encountered by early-career endosonographers and is always ready to share his vast experience.

In each module we were asked to submit challenging cases from our local practice, with some being chosen for presentation. Having Dr. Manuel Perez-Miranda, Dr. Christopher Khor, and Professor Seo himself analyzing and discussing the case presentation of my own patient is an experience I will never forget. The feedback and tips during these discussions of real-life situations encountered by other trainees were priceless. The exercise of preparing a case presentation for every module, whether it was presented it or not, made me analyze my practice and try to improve patient care in cases yet to come.

In modules II to IV many live cases related to the lectures were performed (streamed from the Asan Medical Center, Korea, the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, India, and the Medanta Institute of Digestive and Hepatobiliary Sciences, India), and we were able to appreciate technique, real-time problem-solving from experts, and additional tips from the chairs and discussants.

The whole program far exceeded my expectations and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to participate and to get to know such knowledgeable faculty members. EUS training still faces the major obstacle of a continuing shortage of EUS training programs. I think this course helps to fill this void and improve patient care, despite the distances and differing resources among countries. My practice certainly got better, giving me confidence to offer the best care for the patient and the inspiration to always keep learning.

WEO would like to express its greatest appreciation to the industry supporters Olympus, Fujifilm, Sonoscape, Taewoong, Creo Medical and Finemedix as well as the international faculty for contributing to the WISE 2021 program.

Dr. Thienes Costa Lima