Now into its sixth year, the highly popular WISE program trains a selected group of doctors interested in pursuing a career in EUS and prepares them to be future leaders in this field. The WISE program has successfully addressed the current training gap in EUS as well as the need for structured training, especially in developing parts of the world. It has also proven to be an excellent networking platform.

The WISE education program under the leadership of course founder and director Professor Dong Wan Seo, began in 2018 with a modest number of six trainees. Today, it has developed the expertise of more than 120 trainees from more than 30 countries.

Those involved in WISE are deeply gratified that so many trainees have benefited from the course. You can read here about the WISE journey of Dr. Michele Amata.

“My name is Michele Amata and I work as a gastroenterologist and digestive endoscopist at ARNAS Civico in Palermo (Italy), a public tertiary care referral center for biliopancreatic diseases, directed by Dr. Roberto Di Mitri.

I completed the specialization of gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy at the University Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna in 2018 and did my fellowship at IRCCS-ISMETT in Palermo in 2019, continuing training in EUS. I have followed the WEO International School of EUS (WISE) since its inception in 2018, considering this program to be the perfect opportunity for additional education and training to improve EUS practice. At this point of my training journey, I felt enthusiastic and “ready” to apply to WISE, having always dreamt about being one of the selected candidates.

Professor Dong-Wan Seo accepted my application to WISE in 2022, providing me with this great opportunity.

I immediately found the course to be very well-structured. The five modules covered captivating and up-to-date topics and the five pre-tests included questions about really interesting clinical cases, EUS images, and technical concepts that were clarified during the modules. The top six students with higher cumulative scores will have the opportunity to follow the on-site WISE course in Seoul with a fully immersive program with lectures, case presentations, and hands-on training.

More than 80 participants besides myself, from more than 30 countries, were delighted by the comprehensive lessons. These covered the full spectrum of EUS practice, from equipment preparation and basic anatomy to tissue acquisition and interventional and advanced techniques, such as EUS-guided biliary drainage, pancreatic fluid collection drainage, and tumor management with a special focus on EUS-guided radiofrequency and ethanol ablation that I have found extremely interesting.

In modules II, III, and IV many live procedures related to the lectures were undertaken (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.

Moreover, the online format allowed an immediate connection with the participants and the outstanding international EUS experts from all over the word despite distance and busy daily schedules, adapting perfectly to the COVID-19 pandemic constraints. This format allows a friendly setting for discussion between students, moderators, and experts, focusing on direct questions about “real-life” and “daily practice” EUS issues. It also enhances the course quality and the learning experience. I was impressed by the high quality lectures from a wide range of renowned endosonographers who shared their valuable experience in an easy and direct way. This is usually unavailable at other congresses. The opportunity to study all the furnished slides and ask questions during the discussions or in the chat box greatly helped me to increase my knowledge and clarify my doubts!

In each module we were asked to submit challenging cases from our local practice, with some being chosen for presentation. I had the opportunity to present two clinical cases in the presence of Prof. Mitsuhiro Kida, Dr. Christopher Khor, Dr. Anthony Y.B. Teoh and Professor Seo himself with an active analysis of the management of my own patients. The chance to interact with different well-known experts who have made great contributions over the years was and still is an inspiration for me to focus my career on interventional EUS. I will never forget this opportunity. Preparing case presentations for every module whether actually presented or not has helped me analyze my practice to further improve the quality of patient care.

All the modules were organized by the great WEO Secretariat team, having been expertly directed by Professor Seo who is always ready to share his vast experience and furnish useful technical tips. I also deeply appreciated his live demonstrations from his own endoscopy department, including RFA and EUS delineation techniques from the stomach, D1 and D2, with special emphasis on his soft “clockwise” and “counterclockWISE” movements in the sitting position to detect the uncinate process.

I was also inspired by Professor Seo’s charisma, his devotion to teaching, and his passion about endoscopy and EUS. I will never forget his final sentence “after 25 years of EUS practice, I’m still learning” – a massive motivation to continue studying and learning day by day and patient by patient.

“EndWISE,” I am grateful for the great opportunity to be part of the WISE family, and certainly this experience has increased the quality of my EUS practice, making me much “WISEr” and more confident in using this amazing technique in order to offer the best care for my patients.

Thank you, Professor Dong-Wang Seo, WEO organization, and all the faculty!”

WEO would like to express its great appreciation to its industry supporters, Olympus, Fujifilm, Sonoscape, Taewoong, Creo Medica, Finemedix, AMS, and Medi-Globe as well as to the national and international faculty for contributing to the WISE 2022 program.

Applications for WISE 2023 are now open. If you would like to learn more about EUS, please apply at (https://www.worldendo.org/wise-application/). Applications close January 30, 2023.